It is estimated that 75% of root canal procedures are either unnecessary, because the tooth is still alive, or so infected, that the procedure is simply locking anaerobic bacteria into the bone, which might cause chronic inflammation (NICO-condensing osteitis) and possible long-term systemic medical damage.
A root canal embalms a dead tooth, using caustic chemicals like formaldehyde, destroying the normal neurological, arterial and occlusal anatomy while mechanically serving as a temporary tooth.
A tooth may die from internal or external trauma causing an irreversible pulpitis (inflammation of the pulp or nerve). The bacterial invasion from a cavity might extend into the nerve and all the heat of a high speed drilling to remove the decay creates hydraulic pressure in the microscopic tubules. The living pulp that nourishes each tooth decomposes, creating facial pain, swelling and abscess.
Endodontists (root canal specialist) believe they can remove all the bacteria from an infected tooth irrigating with bleach, yet all they actually treat is the main chamber of the tooth. If you put that tooth under a microscope, there are thousands of horizontal micro-tubules where bacteria and spirochetes (like those from Lyme disease) survive for years without oxygen. Although these bacteria multiply slowly, they are the most virulent of organisms and their exudates have been linked to heart disease. The body will try to wall off the bacteria, creating a cyst at the end of the root which appears dark on x-ray. A digital x-ray or CAT scan is the best diagnostic tooth for locating the disease.
Not all root canal teeth are infected, it depends on the sterility of the technique and the status of the tooth when the service was first performed. An infected root canal is often painless, but you might notice a small swelling around the root, bleeding in the gum or a draining fistula (pimple). The tooth might feel different on biting and your dentist might tell you to live with it, but if you had cancer, would you want to “live with it?” Root canal retreatment is usually a painful waste of time and an apicoectomy (surgically removing the cyst) does not address the bacteria living in the micro-tubules.
If a patient has a healthy immune system an infected tooth can always be extracted later, but our bodies are besieged by environmental challenges everyday and if you choose to avoid adding insult to injury, you should extract the tooth now and insist that the dentist perform a cavitation of the socket with ozone irrigation. This is just good surgical technique and any dentist is capable.
If the tooth is alive it will be sensitive to cold and sweet, but the condition is still reversible if the decay is carefully removed and any offending irritants such as poor fitting crown are replaced. Food and periodontal traps must be eliminated and hyper-occlusion adjusted. Adjacent wisdom teeth may be extracted. Hot sensitivity is an indication of change but the tooth can still be saved. The best alternative at this point is to use a Holistic Dentist whose “intentions” are to keep tooth alive using an herbal sedative filling. Many traditional dentists simply view an x-ray of a deep cavity as being irreversible without making any attempt to save the pulp. The threat of a root canal might be suggested as punitive punishment, when in reality, their restoration might not be properly sealed. Their negative (the glass is half empty) intentions are altered by their training or economics. An informed consumer should be adamant that their dentist