I am in remission from a bout with cancer, and trying desperately to stay that way. I recently learned that getting root canals can be linked to cancer. A documentary I saw recommended extraction instead of saving the tooth via root canal treatment. I had a root canal about 10 years ago, and am now terrified it may cause my cancer to come back. Will a dentist be willing to remove the tooth? Should I have opted for an extraction over a root canal back then? Honestly, I would feel better with it out at this point.
Zarya, from St. Petersburg, FL
You probably could find a dentist to remove the tooth. However, the dentist would likely be doing it to calm your nerves, not because it is a cancerous ticking time bomb. A general dentist can do the procedure, or you can look for a holistic dentist in your area. A holistic dentist takes your entire body’s health into consideration when recommending treatment.
The documentary you saw may have been focused more on fear-mongering than accuracy. As you probably learned, teeth requiring root canals have bacteria present. A root canal removes the bacteria, and seals the tooth, so it cannot become filled with bacteria again. More recent studies show that patients who receive root canals are healthier, and even at a lower risk of cancers. The documentary you saw likely referenced an old, outdated study that has not been replicated, yet is still causing panic and worry.
Good oral health is linked to good heart health, so taking care of your teeth is necessary to a healthy body. Being concerned about your oral health is important to keeping your body healthy. However, you do not need to worry so much. Your past root canal did not cause your cancer, nor will it cause it to come back. Getting it extracted is up to you and your dentist.
This blog post is brought to you by Scottsdale dentist and root canal provider, Dr. Hillary Peck, of Peck Family Dentistry.