Are Root Canals Dangerous?

Dr. Kyle Hornby

Root canal treatments are provided by either a Family Dentist or Endodontist in Kitchener. Root canals treatment removes the nerve and dental pulp from your tooth to relieve pain. Recently, documentaries and other pop science outlets have spread unsupported information about root canal treatments being dangerous. So, are they harmful?

Endodontist Kitchener: How can root canal treatments fail?

Root canal treatments typically fail for 2 very preventable reasons. Firstly, they can fail because the root canals were not completely clean right to the tip of the root. This leaves bacteria within the tooth and this can cause problems like pain and re-infection down the line. Secondly, teeth can fracture or split after root canal treatment because they were never reinforced with a dental crown.

Endodontist Kitchener: What risks come with root canal treatment?

If you develop a recurrent infection at some point after root canal treatment, you are likely to experience either pain/soreness on chewing or swelling/abscess around the tooth. While recurrent infection can be dangerous and is certainly not ideal, the many claims that root canal treatment can cause cancer and other systemic illnesses are totally unproven. Simply put, there is no research demonstrating a link between root canal treatment and cancer.

Here is a useful article on safety of root canal ("Endodontic") treatment from the Canadian Academy of Endodontists.


Root canal treatments can resolve tooth pain and infection. They have a high success rate and allow patients to avoid dental extraction and tooth loss. This allows patients to avoid costly tooth replacement solutions such as dental implants. Following root canal treatment, you should reinforce your tooth with a dental crown to prevent fracture. Recurrent infection is a possible complication associated with root canal treatment. There has been no evidence suggesting a link between root canal treatment and cancer or other severe systemic illnesses.

Thanks for reading today!

By Dr. Kyle Hornby, Kitchener Dentist

If you would like to arrange a consult to discuss root canal treatment or to have a symptomatic tooth assessed, give us a call at (519) 576-8160 or request a consult here.

Our Kitchener Dental Clinic is conveniently located in Downtown Kitchener and we are a short drive away for families in Waterloo, Breslau & Stratford. Our central location means we truly can offer family dentistry near you!

This article is meant to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Accordingly, always seek the advice of your Kitchener Dentist or other healthcare provider regarding a dental condition or treatment.

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