Response to Netflix documentary: Root Cause

Posted on: Wednesday, 02/06/2019

The UCLA School of Dentistry is in agreement with the following American Association of Endodontists response to the Netflix documentary; “Root Cause.”

The people in this movie are spreading misinformation and confusion about root canal treatment that is misleading and harmful to the consumer public.  Their premise is based on junk science and faulty testing conducted more than 100 years ago that was debunked in the 1950s, continuously since then and is even more discredited today by physicians, dentists and academics. Mainstream medical and dental communities overwhelmingly agree that root canal treatment is safe, effective and eliminates pain. 

The success of root canal treatment is based in science with a multitude of studies and peer-reviewed materials supporting its safety and efficacy.  The science supporting root canal treatment dates back to 1951 when a Journal of the American Dental Association literature review found that previous questions raised in a single study were unfounded because it had lacked many fundamental practices of modern scientific research, including proper control groups.  Since then science has consistently and repeatedly supported the safety of root canal treatment. 

Root canal treatment is an important dental procedure to alleviate patients’ pain and save a patient's natural teeth.  When a severe infection in a tooth requires endodontic treatment, that treatment is designed to eliminate bacteria from the infected root canal and prevent reinfection of the tooth.  Currently, about 25 million new endodontic treatments, including root canals, are performed each year, safely and effectively, with none of the side effects referenced in this movie.