The Unnecessary Root Canal Scam - Why you should always get a 2nd opinion.

A few months ago I went into my local dentist at Grace Dental for a simple checkup.  I didn't have any tooth pain or symptoms, it was just preventative.  I had a cavity that needed to be filled, but halfway through while working on it, the dentist informed me I needed a root canal.  He filled the tooth and told me to come in immediately tomorrow to start a root canal.

Not knowing any better, I trusted his word.  Thankfully, I decided to do a bit of research before hand.

Root Canals are Serious.

The total price of the root canal and crown would have been close to $1,000US.  It would have taken a few days to recover not to mention 1-3 days wasted time going into the dentist.  It's also a surgery and it can always have dangers and complications.

Dentists Make $$$ Selling Root Canals. 

After speaking to a friend who is a U.S. trained Dentist and showing her the new X-rays, she told me I didn't need a root canal, at least not anytime soon.  Both her and my 2nd opinion dentist at Dental Land Chiang Mai told me there is a small possibility in the future I will need one, but definitely not now and definitely not any time soon.

Tooth #25 (the one in the middle)

Unnecessary Root Canals.

So why did the first dentist try to get me to do a root canal?  First it's a scam to make more money. Second, it covers their butt just in case the problem gets worse.  I would love to say that Grace Dental is a Scam and that you should just avoid them.  But in reality, it's not just them, thousands of dentists worldwide, including in the U.S. prescribe unnecessary root canals prematurely and don't spend the time to give you alternatives or preventive measures.

How to avoid Root Canals.

1. Brush Correctly.  

Most of us learned how to brush our teeth as little kids and have been doing it the same way since. Turns out, most of us do it wrong.  If you're not using your wrists and rolling away, you're brushing your teeth incorrectly as I have been for 32 years.  Here's how you're supposed to do it.

Roll the toothbrush away from the gum.

2. Floss Everyday.

I didn't floss regularly for most of my life.  A couple of years ago, I made it a new years resolution to floss everyday, no matter what.  Once it became a habit, it stuck.  If you're not flossing everyday, start today, you know it's good for you, stop being lazy and just do it.

I recommend using the best floss you can find.  If you're using the cheap stuff, chances are you'll hate the strings and it breaking.  It also hurts.  But with a good floss such as Oral B's Glide you'll love it.
This is my floss of choice.  I love it.

3. Stop Eating Sugar.
Prevent tooth decay in the first place by cutting out all sugar, and anything sweet including honey, agave syrup and even fruit.  Stop drinking Soda as well and skip the candy aisle.  It's terrible for your teeth.

4. Change your Diet.
It turns out that cavities are NOT normal.  As a kid I thought it was normal to have one or two every year.  It turns out you're NEVER supposed to have one.  The fact that you have any means something is wrong.  Read the book Cure Tooth Decay for more information, it is the best preventative medicine book out there for tooth health.

5. Check your Fillings.
If you do have cavities, get a filling right away, it's the best way to prevent further damage.  Have your fillings checked every 6 months to make sure they are in place and that you don't need any new ones.

6. Double Check their Work.
This is something that will piss off your dentist.  If you have a problem tooth, or if you just want to be sure the fillings were put in correctly, ask for a X-ray after the filling has been put in.  Dentists hate this as it's basically you double checking their work, but for me, I needed to make sure it was done correctly as I didn't want the chance of a root canal in the future. 

Turns out, the first dentist at Grace Dental only did one side of the tooth and not the other.  He left my tooth with a hole in it thinking that I would get a root canal anyways.  Thankfully I double checked his work by getting an X-ray somewhere else and caught it before it caused any more damage being untreated.

Bitewing X-ray
7. Get a Second or Third Opinion.
For me I was lucky enough to have a friend who works as a dentist.  I emailed her the X-rays so she could take a look at them unbiasedly.  She determined that there was a small possibility in the distance future of needing a root canal but definitely not now.  She advised that as long as I brushed correctly and flossed it would be fine and I wouldn't need to get surgery.  There are dentists that will take a look at your X-rays and give you an unbiased opinion.  Trust me, spending the time and money to do so is a million times better than getting an unnecessary root canal. 

8. Take Care of Your Teeth.
I never thought about my tooth health that much, and always assumed they would be fine.  But now that I'm 32, getting older, I realized that if we don't take care of our bodies they fall apart.  No matter what are you are, take care of your health, your body and your teeth, it's the only one we've got and it needs to last us until we're old.

2018 Teeth Update: 

I went to get a teeth cleaning at Chiang Mai Ram Hospital Dentist department the other day and great news. They were clean, professional and there was zero wait time with an appointment. I had a great cleaning by the Dentist herself, along with two nurse aids, and a checkup. Best of all it was all done for $40.27usd without insurance!

Even though 4 years ago I went to Grace Dental and was almost scammed into a root canal yesterday I went to my appointment and was told after my x-rays, cleaning and checkup that my gums and teeth are perfect. Luckily I didn't fall for the root canal scam and did my own research. You can read more about how I did it in the link above.

Warm Regards and Kind Wishes,


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  1. hi there, Great idea the 'X-ray after the work'..good solution. Im in the us & have been riding the dental roller coaster. Along the way (after bad dental work, unnecessary procedures, & being asked to leave upon interviewing a potential dental provider lol!...I knew too much about my own they couldn't scam me) I have found solutions, & certain wisdom about how to take care of my dental health.
    A. Stop using ALL regular commercial toothpastes. If you must use commercial buy the ones from the health food stores, & herbalists.
    B. Stop using ALL commercial mouth wash.
    Look for a 'herbal kind' that has contains myrrh. (NHI study showed that Myrrh healed oral infection faster than 2 different types of antibiotics.
    C. Drink & clean your teeth with ONLY Distilled Water.
    There's is very good reason why distilled water is the Only water used in all dental & medical machinery. Its better for machines...& MUCH better for your body!
    D. Make a 6% solution of Magnesium Chloride & distilled water. Keep it in the fridge
    Use it in a Water Pic (much superior to string floss when you are at home)
    It will remove plaque...yes including the plaque under the gumline if used consistently
    E. Activated Charcoal Powder
    When there is any dental infection, abscess etc pour out a capsule of the powder & pack it around the irritated area..gums, teeth etc...Sleep with it all night around the area...It WILL absorb the infection.
    F. A spoon of raw chopped garlic swallowed down with plenty of water before meals (do Not chew) is a more efficient killer of negative gram bacteria (the kind that bother us) fungus & viruses than any antibiotic...Drink regularly...even when your mouth is health
    G. Discard any & all fluoride products. This is not strengthening your teeth. However, it IS putting you at a bigger risk of cancer in the future
    H. Drink a "Herbal Calcium Complex tea. Dr Christopher has one. And DO throw away calcium supplements. They are inorganic..And cause problems in the body..not the least of which is constipation!.

    G. Smile Often & Smile Big: A happy spirit creates a healthy body!!

    1. Hi Asa, thanks for the info and the tips. Some of them are extreme though like C. Drinking ONLY distilled water which is dangerous.

      My suggestion to my readers is to look into all of the tips you gave above as most of them are indeed helpful, but to educate themselves before going extreme with anything.

  2. they are needed sometimes. your situation may be unique but does not always mean its a scam


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