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The Truth About Root Canal and Cancer

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While there are plenty of undisputable resources about the effectiveness of root canal (endodontic) treatment, misinformation continues to circulate online. Dr. Michael’s Dental Clinic, along with our American Board Certified Endodontist Dr. Yasmin Al-Zoubaidy, continuously work on educating the public about root canal safety while debunking the myths that root canals cause cancer or other health problems.

To date, there has not been one valid, scientific evidence linking root canal-treated teeth and disease elsewhere in the body. The American Association of Endodontists (AAE) states that there is no causality between root canals and cancer; just because a person has experienced both doesn’t mean a cause-and-effect relationship exists.

In fact, a 2013 study published in a journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery) found that a patient’s risk of cancer doesn’t change after having a root canal treatment. Additionally, researchers found that patients with multiple endodontic treatments had a 45% reduced risk of cancer.

“As dental professionals, we know there is no evidence of a link between root canal treatment and cancer or other diseases,” said AAE President Dr. Gary R. Hartwell. “It is in the best interest of patients to understand there is no valid, scientific evidence linking root canals to such health problems, and also to understand the advancements in modern dentistry that make endodontic treatment predictable, effective and successful.”

The AAE offers dental professionals, the media and patients with authoritative and reliable information on root canal safety on their website. These resources include:

  • Root Canal Safety Fact Sheet — explains the history of focal infection theory and research showing that there is no valid, scientific evidence linking root canaled teeth and systemic disease.

Feel free to contact us should you have more questions regarding root canal therapy. For more information about the AAE, visit the Association's website.