Q: Doctor, let me ask you real quick, we talked about root canals a little bit. What are some of the reasons that people get those in the first place, that perhaps starts this problem rolling?
Dr. Hal A. Huggins, DDS: Fifty years ago when I got out of dental school, you had a root canal done because somebody had elbowed you in the mouth. Where I grew up the only sport, the favorite sport was hockey. Well, I was almost as big in junior high as I am now so I became the goalie. Now, I couldn't skate backwards so that's another reason to be goalie.
Dr. Hal A. Huggins, DDS: But, you get hit in the mouth with a hockey puck and you need a root canal because you just killed the tooth. Or if decay burrows into the tooth, into the pulp chamber and kills it,you "need" a root canal, which is the beginning of heart disease, neurological disease, kidney disease, cancers, so on, all of these diseases,but we didn't know that.
We should've known it because it was brought out first in '09, and I don't mean 2009. Back in 1909, Dr. Price, working with Mayo's and Dr. Rosenoff there, found that, yeah, there are a lot of problems with root canals. Because if you had a person who'd had a heart attack, you could take out the root canal tooth and implant it under the skin of a rabbit and in a couple of weeks, the rabbit dies of a heart attack. So you'd take it out and put it in another rabbit and in a couple of weeks he dies of a heart attack. So you take it out . . . he would conventionally do this for 30 rabbits.And with heart disease, he could transfer heart disease through 30 rabbits 100%of the time.
There were other diseases, diabetes and things like this, that could be transferred through the root canal. So that information came out in 1909, '10, '11. And then 1920, some major textbooks,big textbooks were written on it, which had had a problem with conflagration.If you were in Colorado Springs, of course, this was a little bit before your time when you were in Colorado Springs. They had what was called the Antlers'Conflagration. The Antlers Hotel went up in smoke in just a matter of a few minutes. This, so I have been told, happened to a lot of Dr. Price's textbooks on root canals. So, he did a great job in talking about nutrition and dental decay, and those books are still in circulation today, but the ones on root canals, they're disappearing. Why? Probably the liability. I mean, obviously there's the financial aspect to it, but in 1990 the Dental Association suggested that dentistry do 30 million root canals a year by the year 2000.This was accomplished by 1999. When you accomplish a goal, what do you do?
Scptt: Set a higher one.
Dr. Hal A. Huggins, DDS: You raise the bar,which is now, as I have been told, 60 million root canals a year. And dentistry is up to 40 million a year now, so they're on the way up. So, why are we doing so many root canals? I think maybe a good term for that would be quota.
Dr. Hal Huggins discusses research that indicates a strong tie to this common dental procedure and heart disease. He also discusses conventional reasons why upwards of 50 million of these procedures are done every year and the other dangerous health conditions that may follow.
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