The UCLA School of Dentistry’s Response to Netflix’s Root Cause

Netflix released a show, January 2019, about root canals. Root Cause is a feature-length documentary featuring opinions from doctors and dentists from around the world, that try to postulate the health effects of the root canal procedure. Root Cause is one man’s personal journey of self-discovery and a subsequent attempt to prove that a long-accepted safe procedure might have health impacts.

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What did The UCLA School of Dentistry have to say?

The people in this movie are spreading misinformation and confusion about root canal treatment that is misleading and harmful to the consumer public. 

Their premise is based on junk science and faulty testing conducted more than 100 years ago that was debunked in the 1950s, continuously since then and is even more discredited today by physicians, dentists and academics. Mainstream medical and dental communities overwhelmingly agree that root canal treatment is safe, effective and eliminates pain. 

The success of root canal treatment is based in science with a multitude of studies and peer-reviewed materials supporting its safety and efficacy.  The science supporting root canal treatment dates back to 1951 when a Journal of the American Dental Association literature review found that previous questions raised in a single study were unfounded because it had lacked many fundamental practices of modern scientific research, including proper control groups.  Since then science has consistently and repeatedly supported the safety of root canal treatment. 

Root canal treatment is an important dental procedure to alleviate patients’ pain and save a patient’s natural teeth. 

When a severe infection in a tooth requires endodontic treatment, that treatment is designed to eliminate bacteria from the infected root canal and prevent reinfection of the tooth.  Currently, about 25 million new endodontic treatments, including root canals, are performed each year, safely and effectively, with none of the side effects referenced in this movie.

Root Canal Therapy at Tri City Dental Care

“Root canal” has become a scary term for dental patients to hear, but the benefits of the procedure and advances in dental technology have made it much less “scary”. Local anesthetics and proper pain medication allow the procedure to be performed with little to no pain in most cases. There may be some soreness following the procedure, but that is normal for most dental procedures. The procedure will also relieve you from pain caused by the infection allowing you to enjoy all the foods you love without any pain from heat, cold, or biting too hard.

When a tooth becomes infected it is usually related to the nerves in the root of the tooth. The infected nerves need to be removed. If left untreated an infection can turn into an abscess, which is a much more serious problem that includes bone loss in the jaw. 

Our primary concern is your health and comfort, and we always want to provide a stress-free environment for our patients to receive dental care in the Kennewick, Richland, Pasco area.

We are always happy to discuss your concerns and work together on a unique solution for you. So if you’re still worried about root canals, feel free to call Dr. Lopez’s staff at tri-city dental care in Kennewick at 509.579.0759

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