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Atlanta Endodontics

Atlanta, GA

Specialists in Saving Teeth
Robert Slosberg, D.D.S.
 

Frequently asked questions

"Will an abcessed tooth destroy bone, and will new bone form after the source of infection is removed?"

Yes, following the removal of the infected pulpal tissue, with adequate disinfecion and sealing of the root canal system new bone will form in the previously infected area. For this reason, we request a 6 month re-evaluation, at no charge, to adequately guage healing.

 

“Does a root canal really cause systemic disease?”

No. There are no links of root canals to cancer and chronic disease that are supported by real scientific research published in peer-reviewed journals. A number of studies have looked at the connection between root canal treatment and chronic diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and arthritis. To date, no valid study has shown a connection, much less causation. For example, the question is not whether 97% of people with brain cancer have had a root canal. The question is how many people who get a root canal go on to develop brain cancer. The actual scientific answer is about the same percentage as in the general population. There is even one study that showed people with root canals had 45% fewer cancers than those who had not had root canal treatment.


“The tooth is dead after a root canal. Why would I leave something diseased in my body?”


A root canal treated tooth is not a “dead tooth.” There are still nerves and blood vessels supplying the outside of the tooth. A root canal treated tooth is no different than other teeth, except that it can’t feel hot or cold. We should acknowledge that all bacteria cannot be removed during endodontic treatment. The same statement holds for prophylactic cleanings, periodontal treatment, surgery, implants, and restorative treatment. Our bodies are filled with microorganisms. In fact, 90% of the DNA in our bodies is bacterial. Our mouths are no different. When we brush, floss, and even eat, bacteria enter our bloodstreams. So what exactly is an infection?  No one would say 100% of us have rampant skin and gut infections harming us because bacteria are present there.
 

“What are the consequences of having a tooth extracted?”


An extraction is not a bacteria-free procedure. Extracting a tooth leaves an open wound susceptible to an infiltration of microorganisms. Therefore, the patient who undergoes an extraction to eliminate microorganisms actually opens an avenue for them.One of our alternatives is a bridge. The problem is that the abutment teeth are nine times more likely to develop endodontic complications. Implants are an excellent option to replace a tooth, but they are not without complications. Implants often need grafting, and few holistic-leaning patients are comfortable with the sources or our grafts or the foreign body material that the implants are fabricated from. A removable denture is an alternative, but I’ve never met a patient who was completely satisfied with that option. Not replacing the tooth is another option, but that limits chewing ability, allows shifting of teeth, and puts more forces on the remaining teeth, which in turn increases the odds of subsequent endodontic, restorative, and periodontal problems. Oftentimes, patients haven’t thought that far in advance and when shown the consequences of removal, they instead make the decision to retain their natural tooth.