Root Canals and Health

Hello Ellie, 

I was at the SDA health fair and heard part of your talk about dental health. I went right out and bought the ingredients for a healthier mouth…the closys (there was only one bottle left at Walgreens! Maybe I wasn’t the only one!), the ACT. I couldn’t remember everything but I looked at your website and have it straight now: Closys, brush with old fashioned Crest, Listerine and ACT. I also bought the Zellies mints and they are on the kitchen table as a breath cleanser after meals and snacks. Everyone likes them and I have to tell them they are NOT to be eaten as candy, too expensive for that!

So thank you so much for all the education! It is very encouraging to think we can strengthen our teeth and improve our health in this easy way. 

NOW, for my question. I’m 56 years old, an age where friends are getting and dying of cancer. Distressing! So I’ve been doing alot of reading/prevention info. Bill Henderson is a favorite source of information for me. And here is where you come in. His number one recommendation is to get rid of any rootcanal teeth! Since I have 3 at least, that I paid ALOT of money for, this is a HUGE step for me that I won’t do lightly or easily or maybe not at all! You seem in touch with alternative medical thinking. Do you have an opinion about this? 

BTW – it is interesting what you said about hydrogen peroxide rinsing…I tried it a few times, hoping for whiter teeth, but stopped because it left a metallic taste in my mouth..I have amalgum fillings. Was it reacting with the metals maybe? Well, I don’t want to go on too long. Hope to hear from you.


p.s. I’ve been to Phillip’s European a couple of times. Loved it! Remember the Zellies! Liked them and had no idea about what all you taught us.

Dear HD,

I am glad the talk at the health fair was helpful you are going to notice a big change in your teeth in about a month.

This is stage one: quickly followed by stage two when friends notice your improved teeth!

Stage three is when you go for your next dental visit and the dental professionals are surprised!

Stage four is when you survive their new ideas and stick with your system!

Stage five is when you go back six months later and they want to know what you are doing!

Root canals are a big subject!
I believe (like most things) it is not a simple yes or no answer. You have to think logically about the risks and what happens during a root canal treatment.

I have read articles, grown up through the decades of ideas, and was trained in UK at a time when very few root canals were performed. The long term success of root canals is very dependent on the skill and knowledge of the operator. Unless you trust your general dentist and know he has become expert in this area, I would personally seek an endodontic specialist.
I take root canal treatments very seriously.

My position is based on common sense and I share concern about leaving a “focus of infection” following a root canal treatment. My consideration would be

1) if the tooth was previously alive (vital) before the treatment and
2) did the treatment extinguish and seal all bacteria from the “dead” space.

Many root canals are performed on previously live or partially live teeth.
These root canals are done for many reasons: such as if the nerve was exposed during a filling or crown preparation, or because a tooth broke in an accident or because the tooth needs to be part of a cosmetic change to support a bridge or denture. The tooth is not infected before treatment: The root canal simply turns a tooth into one that has no nerve in its center. The chance that this kind of treatment will be completely successful is great unless techniques are improper or a problem causes the seal to break (example: patients do not complete treatment in a timely fashion and this allows a temporary filling to leach away and bacteria to enter the inside of the tooth). Providing the whole event goes smoothly I think vital root canal treatments are usually no problem.

Root canals on infected, abscessed and dead teeth.
The center of the tooth usually dies because of infection, trauma or damage from tooth decay.
The tooth is infected bacteria and their by-products soak into the porous internal structure of the tooth.

The methods used to clean away such bacteria are critical. I believe that only experts, trained and persistent in techniques that are effective, can truly eradicate bacteria in these cases. An inexperienced student, dentist or someone with a casual approach to infection may I believe leave tiny areas of infection, permanently sealed into the part of the tooth under the gum, in contact with the blood supply to the body. It would be no surprise to me, if such chronic infection stimulated a negative health response.

If your history was of multiple root treatments on one tooth, with recurring infection, I would treat this as a suspicious tooth. If you have reason to worry about your general health I would consider this as a possible focus of infection. If an endodontist performed a simple one or two step treatment and you have never had cause for concern, I would not remove these teeth just because they have a root canal filling.

Years ago root canals were filled with silver points. I think it is unfortunate that today we use plastic filling materials in root canals. To me, silver in a canal makes a possible case for the silver to perform as an antibacterial agent inside the canal. I hope the idea of using silver may be employed again by root canal specialists.

I hope this gives you a suitable answer. Again, I am sorry but I do not believe it is a simple yes or no. You have to look at various situations and basic facts.

Let me know if I have missed something,
Best Wishes,

Ellie Phillips DDS
26 Corporate Woods
Rochester, NY 14623

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