I have been reading the information on this forum with interest, and wanted to share my own experiences with root canals
based on the research I have done.
Before I begin, I would like to tell you a bit about myself. I have studied alternative medicine intensively for over 12 years, researching naturopathy, herbalism and taken a great interest in the supposed "incurables" that the medical profession would lead us to believe cannot be treated. I have tried many forms of healing and in fact devised some of my own healing programs based on the knowledge I have accumulated. I only say this because I want to make the point that I did not subscribe to the point of view that I am about to express lightly.
About 2 years ago, I had a filling that was so deep that it traumatised the nerve. As a result the nerve died which resulted in a huge absess. My Dentist suggested a root canal
as the only course of action that could save the tooth.. Obviously, as someone who had researched alternative medicine so extensively, I knew about the potential dangers of root canals, and I do believe my exact words to the Dentist when she suggested such a treatment were "over my dead body". But the tooth in question was very near the front of my mouth and I really felt sick to the stomache at the thought of loosing it. However, no matter how hopeless it seemed, my open mindedness and refusal to give up until absolutely every avenue had been explored lead me to a solution that enabled me to keep my tooth while leaving me confident that I would not be compromising my health.
My research lead me to the website of a Dentist called Dr Goldman, who wrote two of the most brilliantly fair and balanced articles on root canal treatment I have ever read, and I urge everyone to read them. They can be found here:
Dr Goldman, Himself accepts that there is no perfect solution at this moment, but before making any concrete decisions about whether to have an extraction or a root canal, you really need to have all the facts, and understand the potential implications of having your tooth extracted. The problem I have always had with a great deal of information that is presented in the alternative medical field, is that some of it is based on scare-mongering and unsubstantiated data, and this is the problem with the alternative view on root canals.
I am 100% certain that the conventional way of doing root canals is extremely dangerous to a persons health, but what I realised through my research was that there was more than one way of doing a root canal. The problem with conventional root canal treatment, as most of you will know is that the dentist simply cleans out the root and fills it with a gutta percha filling which is usually contaminated with barium and often a whole host of toxic pollutants. The other problem is that dead nerves still linger in the tiny tubal canals of the teeth which are out of reach of the dentists tools which create a feeding ground for lethal bacteria that can compromise health. The general concensus of opinion on this forum is that there is no reliable way to sterilise the tooth, but this is a view that Dr Goldman, and indeed other highly respected alternative medical practitioners I have spoken to disagree with.
Dr Goldman's point of view is that in order to successfully sterilise the root treated tooth, you need to temporarily fill the tooth with a substance that will sterilise the tooth and dissolve any remaining nerve tissue hiding in the tubal canals before the final root filling was put in place. The favourite for doing this used to be Biocalex, but this was proven to cause breakage of teeth. The only medication that has shown to be effective in killing all bacteria in the tooth and dissolve the left over nerve tissue is calcium hydroxide. Although Dr Goldman suggests that calcium hydroxide is non-toxic when placed as a temporary root filling, I have found some posts on this forum that seemed to suggest otherwise, linking the argument to some technical data. The problem I have with using such data as an argument for toxicity is that there is more than one way to measure toxicity. The substance in question is only part of the equasion, whereas the dosage itself is equally important. Most things are toxic in high enough doses, even water, but calcium hydroxide in low doses is not considered toxic, and the amount you would ingest into the body from a root treatment would be miniscule. Dr Goldman argues that the calcium hydoroxide, if left in long enough can reliably sterilise the tooth and dissolve any remaining nerve tissue. Only after this interim period can the tooth be filled.
So now we move onto the question of the filling. I have seen it argued on here that all Gutta Percha fillings have Barium in them, and that simply is not true. There are holistic Gutta Percha fillings available that contain no contaminants, in fact you can get Gutta Percha fillings that contain a small amount of calcium hydroxide that will help keep the tooth sterile.
Despite all of this, I still was not convinced, partly because of the fear I had allowed to be instilled in me about the horrors of root canals, so I booked a telephone consulatation with a man who I consider to be on of the finest healers alive: Dr Brian Clement, Director of the Hippocrates Institute in Florida. The Hippocrates institute has been healing people for over 50 years using raw, live, organic toxic free superfoods and have conducted more in house reserch than any other natural healing establishment on the planet. When it comes to things that could compromise your health, you will never meet anyone in your life whos is as anal as Brian Clement, and knowing this, I was happy to pay the $150 consultation fee to speak to him. For further information on Brian and the Hippocrates Institute, please refer to the following site:
Please note that I am not trying to promote his work, I am just simply trying to point out that this ia a man with sound credentials who has an excellent track record of healing, especially with incurables such as cancer.
It was fortunate for me that Brian had just completed 2 years of extensive research on Dentistry so he was in a good position to give me sound advice, and to my utter astonishment, he told me that the approach Dr Goldman suggested was absolutely fine. To be honest, when he said it, I nearly fell of my chair, because I never in a million years expected him to say that. He also said the calcium hydroxide must be left in for at least a month which mirrored Dr Goldman's view perfectly, so I went ahead and had the root canal done.
At the time the root canal was done, things had become pretty serious with the tooth in question, because I had left it several months from when the problem started to occur as a result of the time it had taken me to do the necessary research. The absess in my tooth had eaten away a large chunk of the bone tissue and even the dentist seemed to think is touch and go as to whether it would heal properly. However, I also remembered Dr Goldman arguing that Calcium Hydroxide stimulates bone repair. In all fairness, I couldn't find enough information either way to either confirm or refute his claims, so it really was just a case of having the root canal and waiting to see what happened. Because of the state the infected area was in, I asked my Dentist if the calcium hydroxide could be left in for 2 months which he said was fine.
When the root canal was completed, my Dentist told me that it seemed to go well, so it was now a case of waiting 2 months for the medication to do its work. 2 months later, I returned to the Dentist and had the tooth xrayed, and when the image came up on his computer, I was in for a pleasant suprise. The bone had healed considerably, and he said he had never seen such rapid bone regeneration, especially considering the state it was in before. Was this as a result of the calcium hyroxide stimulating bone repair, or did I just have a strong immune system? In truth I simply cannot answer that question, but the healing that took place certainly didn't harm Dr Goldmans claims. I returned to the Dentist a year later for another xray and this confirmed that the bone had entirely healed. Although it is very difficult to determine 100% if the tooth was entirely sterile, the Dentist did point out what I has suspected, that it was highly unlikely that such rapid healing could have taken place if it wasn't.
I certainly subscribe to the view that there is no perfect solution to the Root Canal problem at this time, but this is also equally true for replacement techniques, for if the tooth is extracted and this could lead to all sorts of problems that Dr Goldman explains in great detail in his article, and I urge people to read it throughly. I thank Dr Goldman from the bottom of my heart for presenting me with information that has enabled me to save my tooth with the confidence that I am not compromising my health. My root treated tooth appears to be fine and my overall health is perfect. Obviously, no one can guarantee that this is the perfect solution in the long run, but the prognosis is looking pretty good. If a problem should occur at a later date, I can opt for having the tooth re-treated or extracted, but if the tooth had been extracted in the first place, I could not have got my tooth back if I later changed my mind. Also let us not forget that dental techniques are always improving so in the long term, a better solution may become available.
The reason for sharing my story is not to try and persuade people to have the procedure I have just explained. We all have to do what is right for us. This felt instinctively right for me, it may or may not be for you. But it is all about making an informed choice based on having all the available information to hand, and not just the blantant scaremongering that is all too apparant in the alternative medical community today.
I hope you find it of interest.