Root Canal Therapy - is it worth it?

topic posted Sat, August 18, 2007 - 11:36 PM by  Cas
I have a tooth at the back - one of the last ones I can use to chew on back there - and my dentist says I have two choices - take it out or have root canal therapy which has an 80% chance of working and will cost around $2,000 AU+ as the tooth needs to be capped after...

What do you think?
Is it worth it to save one tooth (and it may not work)?
Or should I bite the bullet, get it out and chew on my forward teeth and risk cracking them?
Or should I eat mashed potatoes/bananas for the rest of my life... which is what I have sworn for years never wanting to have such therapy?

What are your experiences of root canal therapy?

Many thanks in advance :D
posted by:
offline Cas
  • Re: Root Canal Therapy - is it worth it?

    Sun, August 19, 2007 - 2:21 PM
    My feeling is that a person should never get a root canal. The most obvious reason being that (my impression is) root canals can't be done without mercury.

    A less obvious reason is, while severing the tooth's connection to the nerve may remove the sensation of pain, it does nothing for the infection which continues to wreak havoc inside miles of microscopic fissures within the tooth. This infection continues to leach into the body and can be a source of a myriad chronic conditions. Further, the infection will eventually eat away to bone surrounding the root of the tooth, causing a cavitation, and the tooth will be lost anyway.

    A more abstract reason is that roots of teeth have connections to organs, just like the nerves between each vertebrae do. The infect ion may travel/deteriorate the distance of the nerve until it affects the associated organ. There is a good tooth chart showing the associated organs at It also shows some book references for further reading.

    You might want to find a biological dentist in your area who understands the dangers of both amalgam (mercury) fillings and root canals. He/she may have other options for you. Locate one at

    There are a few testimonies from people who avoided root canals at
  • Unsu...

    Re: Root Canal Therapy - is it worth it?

    Sun, August 19, 2007 - 3:20 PM
    pull it and get bridges. i've had several root canals in my lifetime. all they do is postpone the inevitable. one day i got fed up with the routine ( not only the hassles and pain but the continueal expense) and told my dentist to pull every frikken garbage, hollowed out multiple filled tooth in my mouth and put bridges in. the BEST thing i ever did.
  • Unsu...

    Re: Root Canal Therapy - is it worth it?

    Sun, August 19, 2007 - 9:12 PM
    I've had one root canal many years ago and not had a problem at all since. The key here is to be sure you have an excellent surgeon who takes X-rays after completing his work to make sure he's gotten everything out. I used Oil or Oregano on the gum area after surgery and had only one day of pain. The tooth area does stay a bit sensitive for a while, but it wasn't real bad for me and I'm EXTREMELY sensitive to pain. I really think the surgeon makes the difference. I've heard some horror stories from others. But if I have another tooth problem, I will opt for root canal again.
    • Unsu...

      Re: Root Canal Therapy - is it worth it?

      Mon, August 20, 2007 - 12:33 AM
      Avoid bridges if at all possible, they have to basically cut off the tops of teeth on either side, so they are then half teeth bearing the load of three. They tend to deteriorate. If you are really worried about spending the money, then look into having it pulled and having a titanium screw falsie put in instead.(Note: If you have diabetes, this may eventually disintegrate too.)
      I personally would go for the root canal first. And in all cases: Save your molars when you can!
      • Unsu...

        Re: Root Canal Therapy - is it worth it?

        Mon, August 20, 2007 - 3:24 AM
        buns wrong. what were talking about is if you have NO TEETH. i have six upper and lower teeth in the front that the bridges fasten too ( like cas described hers) no cutoff nothing. the bridges rest on my gums. i have had mine for several years and they are like new. my moms are 50 years old and no deterioration. but then we sprung for the gooduns not the paper maches ones :)) we can eat anything. that comes from actual life experience not wikipedia.
        • Unsu...

          Re: Root Canal Therapy - is it worth it?

          Mon, August 20, 2007 - 3:47 AM
          CAS. sounds like your dental history paralleled mine in many ways. as we age our teeth wear. over the years having them filled and refilled they soon become fragile shells and start breaking. then we pull them. every tooth we pull accelerates wear on the remaining teeth. you said the tooth is one you rely on. that means it will wear rapidly. when i got to this point i had a rootcanal. but the teeth only lasted anoter year or so and had to be pulled anyway because of the increased use. in retrospect i should have had it pulled to begin with. the fewer teeth you have the less you can macerate the food no matter how much attention you pay to chewing. that has other health consequences. do yourself a favor. tell your dentist to pull ALL except the healthy teeth and get bridges. it's a long drawn out process ( the gums have to heal and shrink before fitting for bridges) but you'll be glad you did. you'll notice an immediate improvement in your digestion as well as being able to eat anything you want.
          • Unsu...

            Re: Root Canal Therapy - is it worth it?

            Mon, August 20, 2007 - 4:33 AM
            Maybe theres a nomenclatural problem, it sounds like you are referring to false teeth. Non-molar bridges dont need to be fitted onto half teeth, but bridging molars they do. I have been told by two oral sureons to avoid molar bridges if at all possible.
            It is also worth bearing in mind that certain lifestyle factors will mean earlier degeneration of your teeth. Drug use (particularly opiates as they reduce saliva, and amphetamines as they effect dentin), smoking and things like constantly drinking sweet and acidic drinks will mean your teeth will deteriorate regardless. There is no reason why a root canal should deteriorate so rapidly in all patients.
            And whilst your personal experience is appreciated, there is no reason why you should presume that others arent speaking from their own personal experience, rather than making sniping remarks about wikipedia.
            Perhaps this entire thread is somewhat off topic for a herbal medicine forum?
            • Unsu...

              Re: Root Canal Therapy - is it worth it?

              Mon, August 20, 2007 - 9:13 AM
              mine was done on a back molar and it's been over 10 years without a problem
              • Unsu...

                Re: Root Canal Therapy - is it worth it?

                Mon, August 20, 2007 - 10:19 AM
                I think it really depends on a whole lot of factors. My wife had to have repeat work done on a root canal...but it was several years down the line. I've never had to have one of mine re-excavated (that's what it feels like after it's done), but I may need one shortly. My orthopedist, a fine doctor I may add...had the same two root canals redone twice each! Ooouch! (In just two years!)

                I finally told my dentist to remove one tooth. I wasn't going to go through the work again...the pain, the expense...especially the expense (dentists forget they aren't the only ones putting kids through college!), the pain...oh I said that twice...let me say it again...the pain.
                Because I'm diabetic and that in itself effects gums and teeth, I've come up with an herbal rinse that helps me and mine.
                Red Apple cider vinegar (6 ounces) ....fresh rosemary (about one and one half table spoons)...two or three whole cloves....a table spoon of fresh sage leaves, either salvia vulgaris or salvia appiana. Combine it all and let it set for three weeks. Remove the herbs and use the vinegar for a mouth wash. Morning and evening. It kills bacteria, tightens gums, kills minor pain. Then brush the residue off your teeth with water.
                Vinegar can damage tooth enamel.
                This herbal remedy has improved my visits to the dentists. My HIV clients swear by it.

                At some time I'm going to use Colloidal Silver the same way to see if the results are comparable.
                • Unsu...

                  Re: Root Canal Therapy - is it worth it?

                  Mon, August 20, 2007 - 10:36 AM
                  if i had it to do over i'd a dunnit when i was 40. some of the last ones he pulled had been re-excavated 5 times. decay tends to form under the fillings where no remedies can reach. it's a fact that keeps dentists in business. all of the teeth (12) pulled last time before fitting for my bridges had been re-excavated numerous times and were just hollowed out shells that were tending to break ( which is what brought me to the dentist that final time) when i consider all the suffering and expense incurred it sortta pissed me off. if i had it to do over i'd have them pulled instead of re-filling after the first filling. bridges can be reset with new teeth as you loose more of them at reasonable cost and no pain. the initial fitting is what costs a lot.
                  colloidal silver kills carries. if it can get to them. we brush with it and have had none since starting that regime. if i had known about it 30 years ago i'd still have all my naturals.
              • Unsu...

                Re: Root Canal Therapy - is it worth it?

                Mon, August 20, 2007 - 10:24 AM
                was yours the ONLY TOOTH LEFT that you relied upon for ALL your hard chewing like CAS said hers was. or do you still have all your teeth? because that is critical to my response and the anticipated results. when it's the only choppers you have left it's gonna wear out quickly. might as well as pullem and get it over with. it's a difficult procedure to get your old teeth pulled and replaced with artificial. the longer you wait the older you are and the more difficult it is to recover from. i'm glad i did mine when i was 55 instead of waiting until 65 like most do. it was much easier to bear the pain and suffering.
            • Unsu...

              Re: Root Canal Therapy - is it worth it?

              Mon, August 20, 2007 - 10:17 AM
              your correct. probably a nomenclature problem. my dentist referes to false teeth as bieng NO NATURAL TEETH. totally false upper and lower. he pointed this out to me. partial false teeh connected to and held in place by natural teeth are called bridges. but then again maybe he has it wrong to. your also correct about diet/lifestyle. but you left out AGE and accident. your right about my snippit about wikipedia... so tell us
              1) your age?
              2) how many root canals have YOU had?
              3) how many natural teeth do you have left?
              4) how many artificial teeth do you have and for how long?
              i have explained where my answer came from. i forgot to add.... i have two front teeth that have lasted many years after root canals.
            • Unsu...

              Re: Root Canal Therapy - is it worth it?

              Mon, August 20, 2007 - 11:30 AM
              one more thing BUN. i didn't say a root canal would deteriorate rapidly in ALL patients. i was answering CAS who said she'd already lost all but her front teeth and the last set of choppers. so it was reasonable to assume that in HER case her chopper ain't gonna last long. regardless of the reason. but then i can discern the MEANING of whats written not just see the words.
  • Unsu...

    Re: Root Canal Therapy - is it worth it?

    Mon, August 20, 2007 - 11:53 AM
    one more thing CAS. about the cost. i know we're comparing apples and oranges ( au,us) but my dentist is the most expensive in my area. due to the fact that he keeps up with all the latest procedures/gadgets. he charges $350 for similar procedure. i've had several in my life ( no one has touched my teeth but him) i still have two. even caps will get rot under them and have to be pulled and teeth repaired and re-capped. maybe you should consider a vacation to the U.S. i had 12 teeth pulled in 3 sittings. bridges upper and lower fitted at a cost of $2400 us.
    • Re: Root Canal Therapy - is it worth it?

      Tue, August 21, 2007 - 4:12 AM
      Wow thanks for all that info friends....

      I am thinking that I may get it pulled... I am not sure I want to visit the dentist over and over while I go through the procedure and then when it is finished have it capped... only to then have to have it pulled anyhow....

      Presently I cannot chew on it as it is too sensitive and I am doing fine on the other side with the two teeth beyond my Eye Teeth... I just need to take care in what and how I chew...

      I am a bit if a health freak and mostly eat organic food... although love a few glasses of red every now and again :D I was however pretty wild in my youth and not as careful about what I put in my body... so I am paying for that I guess....

      Thanks again for all your comments....

      Steve I once had a filling in the Philippines which fell out a few years later LOL.... Dont think I am too worried about the money - more the pain and wasting the money if it doesnt work!

      • Re: Root Canal Therapy - is it worth it?

        Fri, August 24, 2007 - 8:28 AM
        I've heard some absolute horror stories about root canals causing rot underneath in the jaw bone. It's called a jaw cavitation.
        • Re: Root Canal Therapy - is it worth it?

          Sun, August 26, 2007 - 3:45 AM
          Gees that sound awful!!!! :/
          • Re: Root Canal Therapy - is it worth it?

            Sun, August 26, 2007 - 11:01 PM
            I've heard worse horror stories about if a root canal is not done right it could affect the organs that the tooth is connected with and also gross stuff like the rot going under your gums and causing big ugly abcesses in your skin.

            I've also heard that if you get the dentist to put aloe vera in the tooth before filling it , it will kill any of the bad bacteria if accedently missed.
            there's a whole web site on aloe vera and dentistry.
            • Unsu...

              Re: Root Canal Therapy - is it worth it?

              Mon, August 27, 2007 - 3:12 AM
              i always carry a bottle of my homemade colloidal silver with me to the dentist. when he says rinse and spit i do it with pure CS. the first time i did this he was amazed at how it stopped the bleeding. on subsequent visits he was also impressed with how fast i he reccomends it to all his patients. if you use it daily after oral surgery you won't have any infections and will heal quickly too.

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