Heart Disease linked to Unfinished Root Canals

Root canal treatments are performed when a tooth becomes extremely painful. It is an alternative to removing the tooth and placement of an implant or bridge. As such, it is a quite necessary procedure. Patients usually feel better after the initial appointment. Therfore, they only do half the procedure because they figure that they are out of pain, so why finish?

Root canal treatments aim to remove pulpal disease and save infected teeth by eliminating bacteria from the root canal system. When you begin root canal treatment without seeing it through to the end, an open space is left behind which can cause bacteria to grow, infecting your body.

A study was just published recently where a total of 283,590 participants who received at least one root canal with no cardiovascular history before 2005 were followed until 2011. An unfinished root canal was defined as a tooth that a root canal as started on but never finished. A total of 3626 participants underwent hospitalization for cardiovascular disease. Compared to the participants who had finished root canal treatment, the rate of hospitilzation was 1.22 for those with 1 or 2 unfinished root canals and 3.61 with those who had 3 or more.

Although interesting this study has less of an impact in my practice. Let me explain what that means. I use new instruments that allow me to start and finish a root canal in 1 visit. I hate to say never, but almost never,  is a tooth left with a “half of a root canal procedure”. This means that the tooth is always sealed and chances for bateria to get into the tooth, followed by a penetration into the body is reduced signicantly.

Not only can I finsh an entire root canal in one visit, but the instruments and techniques that I use make most root canals a very quick procedure. Most  teeth go from start to finish in less than an hour, with many teeth being even quicker. The result of all this is that you, the patient, are in and out of the office faster. You have to hold your mouth open less and spend less time in the chair. Now, which of you would not like to get in and out of a dentist’s office as fast as possible. Many times a root canal is followed by a crown. With al the time that we save, oftentimes the crown could be done at the same visit. That is a real time saver. We can eliminate one entire appointment.

So if you have a tooth that you are nursing along and just waiting to remove it, please consider saving the tooth and getting more years out of it. Don’t let a nagging tooth spoil the holidays. Our new, state-of-the-art of art instruments make is easier and more comfortable to accomplish this. Please call me at 440.951.7856 and let me and my wonderful staff help you to a pain free holiday season.

Lastly, we have launched our new Social Media campaign. For those of you who may be into Facebook, please go to www.facebook.com/jeffreygrossdds and like us!

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