Root canal treatment, also referred to as endodontic therapy, is an effective and safe treatment for teeth whose pulp has become inflamed or infected. It can also be required in other situations to help save and restore a tooth.
Root canal treatment is routinely performed successfully by dentists across Canada. A dentist who has taken advanced training in endodontic therapy is called an endodontist and may be recommended by your dentist for more complex cases. Root canal treatment remains, for many patients, the only viable option to retain a tooth that has suffered severe damage or has become infected.
Root canal treatment is the process of removing infected or injured tissue (pulp) from inside the crown and roots of a tooth. Once cleaned, the canal is disinfected, shaped, filled and sealed with natural rubber-like material called gutta percha. The opening of the tooth is then sealed with either a temporary or permanent filling to prevent future infection. Considerable advancements in diagnosis, radiographic imaging, equipment and techniques now permit dentists and endodontists to complete root canal treatment, even for teeth with very complex anatomies, to the highest level of precision.
The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) and the Canadian Academy of Endodontics (CAE) caution that misinformation about root canal treatment is circulating in the public domain. Patients are advised to discuss any questions or concerns about root canal treatment with their dentist and endodontist to ensure that unnecessary anxiety or fear of developing other health problems does not result in treatment delays which could further compromise the integrity of the tooth.
Taking proper care of your teeth and gums is a lifelong commitment. The best way to prevent the need for root canal treatment is to follow a good oral hygiene routine by brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and to visit your dentist regularly.
Please visit these trustworthy sources of information which address common misconceptions about root canal treatment.
- The Canadian Academy of Endodontics: Safety of endodontic treatment
- The Canadian Cancer Society: Do Root Canals Cause Cancer?
The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) and the Canadian Academy of Endodontics (CAE) are aware that misinformation about root canal treatment is circulating in the public domain. False claims about root canal treatment is harmful because it creates undue fear, or confusion among patients and their families which can lead to delays in seeking treatment and result in the loss of otherwise treatable teeth. The spread of inaccurate information about root canal treatment is not beneficial to patients in terms of their comfort, safety, or long-term health.
Since patient safety, quality oral health care, and knowledge about oral health and related procedures are top priorities for CDA, it has worked with the CAE to provide the most current and factual information about root canal treatment and its safety. The CDA is committed to share important information about oral health and will continue to monitor the situation.