Are Root Canals Safe?

Hello, I’m Dr. Grey Kantor here in San Rafael, California with Kantor Dental Group. Aesthetic dentistry and implantology.

Today, I want to talk about root canals and whether or not root canals are safe? There’s been a lot of stuff I’ve seen on Facebook and some other articles people have been sending me, that have shown that root canals can be reinfected, may have recurring infections. And, a lot of people are wondering are root canals safe? Is there bacteria left in the environment of a root canal that can be dangerous to your health?

So, let’s bring up a situation. Say you had tooth like this one with a big dark abscess at the bottom of it. In this case, this tooth can’t be saved, but if, let’s say it could be saved and you’re in pain. Is it worth saving? Should I get it root canal treated or should I not? Is it worth root canal treating it, or should I just pull it? Those are some questions that might go through your head.

My first answer is that root canals are very safe. Root canals have a success rate of over 95%. So, that means about one in twenty may need to be treated due to a recurrent infection. Recurrent infections are usually visible. You can either feel them or you can see them in the X-ray. In general, they’re not subclinical. Meaning they’re not just an infection that secretly leading bacteria into your bloodstream.

The way we do root canals can help you understand how sterile the environment is. First of all we separated it with either a rubber dam or an Isolite. We separate that from the rest of the mouth. Then, we clean it with copious amounts of sodium hypochlorite, which is essentially bleach. This has to be done for a minimum of 15 minutes. That 15 minutes allows it to sterilize the inside of that tooth before we fill it up. And then, when we fill it up we seal it. We usually seal it with a resin composite just like a filling. And, put a crown over it. So, it is a very sealed environment with unlikely recurrent infection.

So, then the question may occur… should do a root canal or an implant? And I’ll do a separate video on that. But that is an excellent question whether the tooth is worth saving. In the case of this picture behind me, due to all that decay, the dark spot in the tooth. That proves that tooth is not worth saving.

If you have any questions about the root canal, you can definitely come into our office if you’re in the area. But, you could also ask your dentist to see if they believe that root canals are sterile and have a low rate of recurrent infection.

Thanks for watching this video I hope that was helpful. And this is Kantor Dental Group, aesthetic dentistry and implantology. Please subscribe.

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