By Dr. Mercola
Root canal is a commonly performed procedure in most adults. But is it a wise one? Dr. Robert Kulacz, a dentist, has spent a significant portion of his professional career trying to answer this question.
What he discovered profoundly changed his life, and led him to write a book about his findings called, The Toxic Tooth: How a Root Canal Could Be Making You Sick, which I think is among the best available on this subject.
Dr. Kulacz began practicing dentistry in Brewster, New York. After six years as an associate, he opened his own practice in Somers, New York in 1992, where he performed all the conventional procedures of dentistry, from restorations to extractions and root canals.
“I did a lot of root canals for many years,” he says. “Everything was going smoothly until one day, a patient of mine said to me, ‘You know, I heard from my physician that root canals may be bad; that root canals may cause or contribute to other diseases in the body.’
And I said, ‘You’re crazy. Who is telling you this? That’s impossible.’ He said, ‘You got to look at this information.’ He gave me websites of organizations like the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) to look at.
I went on to explore this topic so I could come back to him and say, ‘Here is where you’re wrong, here’s where your physician is wrong, and here is where the American Dental Association (ADA) is right.’
Lo and behold, I found out they’re right; I was wrong.
I looked at Weston Price’s work, the work of Rosenow, and others. I decided to go to an IAOMT meeting… Dr. Boyd Haley’s lecture on root canals and how toxic they are changed my life. I realized I was wrong… From that day on, I changed my practice.”
The Importance of Informed Consent
Dr. Kulacz stopped performing root canals in 1995. He doesn’t promote a ban on root canals across the board, but stresses the importance of informed consent.
The American Dental Association states that root canals are a safe procedure that cannot cause any systemic diseases, and according to Dr. Kulacz and others who have spent time investigating the matter, that’s simply not true.
“If a patient is informed that these root canal teeth remain infected; that bacteria can indeed travel to other sites in the body, and that bacteria in root canal teeth and the surrounding bone release potent toxins, then the patient can decide to have a root canal or not,” he says.
Many dentists believe they can sterilize a root canal tooth and that the act of instrumenting and irrigating the canal will eliminate all the bacteria, but that’s not the case.
“I’ve done biopsies on every root canal tooth that I have extracted. Almost all of them have remnants of necrotic debris still in that canal meaning that they were not thoroughly cleaned. Microbiological cultures of the surrounding bone showed infection almost 100% of the time.” Dr. Kulacz says.
According to the ADA, any remaining bacteria will be “entombed” within that tooth, but that’s not true either. The gutta-percha, the filling material used to seal the canal, is not getting into the tiny lateral canals that branch off the main canal, so leakage is almost always possible, especially since the tooth is porous.
Read more at mercola.com