There is an old argument FOR and AGAINST root canal treatment. The holistic community completely rejects the idea, based on the findings of Dr Weston Price and the publication "Root canal cover-up". Modern dentistry accepts root canal therapy when performed within the required standards of care. Endodontic therapy have changed since the times of Weston Price, and now by using calcium hydroxide, alkalizing the root canal environment, we can achieve higher disinfection rate in the microcanals and tubules of the root. Disinfection with lasers and ultrasonic technology have contributed further to the process. Yet, one of the most frequent questions patients ask is: should ceramic implantology replace root canals and is it safer?
Our position: Yes, the holistic implant approach is an appropriate alternative to root canal therapy. It is safer in many, but not all cases. Healthy patients with correctly positioned, successfully osseointegrated, and functionally loaded ceramic implants, who maintain good oral hygiene, are at low risk for having future problems. The potential issues with implants in general could be implant fracture, bone loss and inflammation (periimplantitis, which is a type of gum disease) due to the influence of systemic factors. We have seen very few fractures and no periimplantitis around ceramic implants vs titanium implants. The root canal tooth, on the other side, is susceptible to gum disease, decay and fracture. This is in addition to another problem: it has been scientifically proven that 100% sterilization cannot be achieved in infected roots, even with all the technology we have today. So the patient is always at risk of having a latent infection. Latent infection can slowly alter the immune system, or become active during sharp immune system decline (exercise, flu, stress, reduced sleep). There is a number of organs and systems in the human body which can be affected by latent focal infections. On the positive side, there are situations when root canal therapy, if done correctly and with the right materials, can have no negative effects. This is the case with preventive root canals, done before the tooth becomes infected with bacteria. Usually, we opt for that when a tooth with a deep filling is planned to have a crown. This doesn't exclude the possibility of future need for more work, because teeth (roots) without nerves and blood supply become brittle.
As in most arguable situations, we think that the truth is in the middle, and not in the extremes.