Sydney Holistic Dental Centre Examines Whether Root Canal Treatments Are Safe and the Holistic Dentists’ Alternative Approach to Root Canal
Sydney Holistic Dental Centre, located in Sydney, NSW, Australia, has announced that they have recently published a blog post that discusses the holistic approach to root canal treatment. They want to point out that the holistic dentists at their dental practice will consider each case individually based on the patient’s health, both systemically and orally.
The first point needs to be made that not all root canal treatments are the same. Root canal treatment is one of the most technically challenging procedures that a dentist undertakes if it is done to the highest standards. What makes it challenging are three important points, all equally challenging: the competence of the dentist, the anatomy of the tooth and the immune system of the patient.
It is important to understand why a person would need root canal treatment. The pulp within a tooth can die because of decay or trauma and become gangrenous. This may be associated with pain but is often not painful at all. It should be noted that if left untreated, the presence of bacteria and toxins from the gangrenous pulp of the tooth can result in an abscess, which is an accumulation of pus at the root tip, eventually resulting in the loss of supporting bone around the tooth. On an X-ray of the tooth this shows up as a shadow where healthy bone is replaced by infectious tissue.
When the pulp dies, the dead tissue remains inside the tooth and this will remain inside the tooth because there is no blood supply to fight the bacteria and toxins. Thus, a root canal treatment is needed to clean out the inside of the tooth, placed antiseptic dressings within the tooth and eventually filled canal(s).
Basically, the controversy is that there are two differing views with regards to root canal treatment. One view, which is the case against root canal: the long-term presence of bacteria and toxins within a tooth is a challenge to the immune system and a threat to the health of the patient. The other view, which is the case for root canal: if a root canal treatment is done to the highest standards and the regeneration of bone occurs then any residual exposure to bacteria and toxins is minimal and can be sufficiently dealt with by the immune system.
The holistic dentists at Sydney Holistic Dental Centre are open to both perspectives and determine each case individually on whether root canal can help a particular patient. And they continue to monitor that while that patient is in their care.
Dr Ron Ehrlich, the co-founder of Sydney Holistic Dental Centre, says, “The alternative to root canal treatment is to extract the tooth and thoroughly curette the extraction site. This is standard procedure for all extractions. When a tooth is extracted it should be replaced to maintain the harmony and balance of the teeth and jaw. Removing the tooth is more straightforward technically than a root canal treatment. Replacing the missing tooth or teeth have their own potential problems and often may involve more extensive and expensive treatments.”
After extraction of the tooth, there are a number of possible replacements. These include: removable partial dentures, fixed bridge work, and dental implants placed in the jaw bone. But each will have some disadvantages.
Removable partial dentures: these will need to be removed and cleaned after every meal. There is also an increased risk of periodontal disease, increased wear and tear on adjacent teeth and gums supporting the denture, and it is not as comfortable as natural teeth.
Fixed bridge work: this involves putting a dental crown on either side of the missing tooth/teeth. However, there is an increased risk of periodontal disease and there is the chance of the nerve in the supporting tooth dying.
Dental implants: Implants are placed in the jaw bone, and then there is a need to wait for 3-4 months before the abutment and crown are placed. Implants have traditionally been made of titanium
An important point to consider is how to measure success. The diagnosis of the need for root canal treatment depends on an assessment on whether the tooth has a vital pulp within it and includes an X-ray of the tooth which often shows as a shadow at the tip of the root. This indicates loss of healthy bone and indicates the presence of infection.
In a technically excellent root canal treatment, this generally results in the elimination of the infection and is indicated by the regeneration of healthy bone around the tooth, with the result that the natural tooth is preserved.
If bone is regenerated and the tooth is comfortable and functional then that is deemed a success. No part of the mouth is sterile and any remaining bacteria and toxins can be sufficiently dealt with by the immune system.
This needs to be regularly monitored as part of any routine dental check-up. Furthermore, although the nerve in the tooth is no longer there, the tooth will be sitting in bone and periodontal ligament that are very much alive.
However, if the area of infection is not resolved (3D x-ray shows healthy bone) irrespective of whether there is pain or not, there is the possibility of the patient’s health becoming adversely affected due to the presence or residual bacteria and toxins, affecting the autonomic nervous system and the immune system.
Those who would like to know more about the holistic approach to root canal treatment can visit the Sydney Holistic Dental Centre website or contact them through the telephone or via email. People may also want to check out their Google Maps page at https://goo.gl/maps/86P6cJ1ADKRx2M8w8 to determine their exact location and other key information.
For more information about Sydney Holistic Dental Centre, contact the company here:
Sydney Holistic Dental Centre
(02) 9221 5800
17/111 Elizabeth St, Sydney NSW 2000