Root Canal Myths
Are Root Canals safe?
Root Canal Micsonceptions
From our FAQ's page
I heard about a movie called "Root Cause" that said root canals cause cancer and heart attacks--along with most other human diseases. Is root canal treatment safe?
John Carman March 7, 2019
Where to begin. The pure idiocy of this movie that appeared briefly on Netflix, Amazon, and Apple before being removed is hard to fathom or convey. One could give the short answer that it is simply modern-day snake oil taken to new marketing heights. Or that its thesis is based on ideas from the 1920s of a dentist, Westin Price, whose flawed research was debunked and disproven decades ago. Or that despite the claims of research to validate the movie's fantastic claims, there is no peer-reviewed, scientific research to support any of the claims that root-canaled teeth cause disease in other parts of the body. Or that numerous absurd claims in the movie, for instance, numbing a tooth can eliminate back pain, should be a red flag as to the credibility of the movie based on common sense alone.
Or perhaps the short answer that a film that begins with spring break, bikini-clad, teens and the revelation of the protagonist's inability to have an erection and ends with him bedding a Victoria's Secret model due to his newfound ability to "get it up" after pulling his root canaled tooth, should also give one pause about the credibility of anything in the movie. Or that several proponents of these ideas have lost their licenses to practice or show up on the websites "Quackwatch" and "Snopes"--sites devoted to exposing internet scams and quackery. Or that the people promoting the nonsensical claims profit handsomely from the supplements and other snake oil products and services that only they, with their unique, special knowledge unknown to the rest of modern medicine, can provide (it's telling that Quackwath shows an aerial view of the multi-million dollar mansion of Dr. Mercola--a supplement hawking dentist featured in the movie--who claims most dentists and physicians deny root canals cause cancer because we don't want to give up making money performing them).
My experience has been that most people who buy into this movie or its long-discredited theories are the same people who are anti-science, anti-vaccine, anti-fluoride and/or believe that the moon landing and 9/11 were fake and staged. So my first reaction, when asked about the movie, was to say that if you believe the truly absurd claims of the movie--then have your teeth extracted because you will not be swayed by science or reason. But after reading some of the comments and questions that appeared on social media shortly after the film was released, I realized that there are people who are not conspiracy theorists and do appreciate science, yet wonder if they should be concerned about having a root canal. For this group, I would refer you as well to the "Root Canal Myths" section of our website for more information.
The movie was removed from the streaming services showing it a few months after its release--due to concerns of harm to the public from its false information. Similarly, Facebook has recently made changes to its site to limit the spread of misinformation about vaccines which contributed to the recent outbreaks in measles, once thought to have been eradicated in the US.
A final comment: I have had five, my wife ten, and every staff member in our office one or more root canals performed in our own mouths. One of mine was done at age 13. So far--fingers crossed--no cancer, brain tumor, liver disease, kidney disease, Alzheimer's, MS, diabetes, or heart attack. I admit to getting some grey hairs but suspect there is another explanation. I know my wife is especially surprised to be disease free since she has 10 root canal treated teeth.
The intended sarcasm is due to the mind-boggling disregard for science from the modern-day hucksters who produced and directed this film and the charlatans interviewed in it who prey on people grasping for solutions to their medical conditions. Strong words? Not strong enough for a film this idiotic based on false claims and lies that will result in some people needlessly removing teeth in the hope of solving serious medical conditions that have nothing to do with their teeth.