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Podcast: Gutta Percha & The Root Canal Controversy, Part 1

Dr. Vinograd, holistic dentist in San Diego, California. Today, I would like to speak about root canals. Traditionally, root canals had been frowned upon by the holistic community and embraced by traditional dentistry. So I’d like to speak a little bit to that, specifically about some of the latest research and materials that have been made available.

The research that had been done that actually caused a lot of people to believe that root canals are quite toxic was done by Dr. Price, a dentist. He actually placed root canal teeth subcutaneously into rabbits and found that the rabbits had developed some sickness around via the focal point of the infection, which is the embedded root canal.

One of the problems is that this research has a lot of holes in it. It’s not really a very traditional scientific research, but having said that, I personally believe that his research has a lot of merit and has a great deal of information that can be had that is valid.

The second problem with the research is that Dr. Price used traditional root canals. These are still being performed by 98% of the dentists. I’m guessing 98%, but a great majority with very few exceptions. The exception being, of course, holistic dentists. And so that research really has very little relevance to what is called a holistically treated or by a compatible root canal.

Am I proposing by a compatible or holistic root canals? I am not. I’m simply trying to state the facts that people can make good decisions.

The difference between a traditional and holistic root canal is that the traditional root canal is basically performed with gutta percha points and a sealer. A sealer is a paste that is placed in between the gutta percha points and those gutta percha are just they’re depressed into the canal or heated into the canal to try to get a seal.

The problem with that is that you really can’t take a material like gutta percha, which is a rubber and truly efficiently seal those small areas. So that leaves a lot of spaces where bacteria can eventually make a home for themselves. The sealer that I’ve used is supposed to actually take up space that the gutta percha will leave. Unfortunately, traditional sealers are somewhat toxic and hydrophobic, which means that in the presence of moisture (which obviously exists in all of our bodies), it tends to shrink. So the sealers are not totally effective in doing that and the result has been that many root canals that had been taken out after a period of time and examined under a microscope have quite a number of microgaps.

Some of the holistic dentists began to use different materials which have calcium hydroxide as its main component. The problem with those is number one, they were very hard to feel accurately with this material just because of its physical characteristics and most importantly, up in some research, about 20% of those teeth found themselves fractured from the expansion of the harness of this calcium hyroxic material. So I would say that it has not been a successful way to treat root canals.

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