I don’t claim to be a dentist or doctor, but as a long-time real-life student of holistic health and someone who has had to make this difficult choice before, I do have some insight to share on the decision process of whether to get a root canal or a tooth extraction, and whether or not there may be another option (more on that toward the end of this article, as there is an herbal blend that shows promise).
About five years ago I opted to have a lower molar on the left side of my mouth removed after a conventional dentist determined that I would need a root canal.
The problem arose a few months before the procedure when a piece of my tooth broke off, leaving an exposed hole that I didn’t get taken care of quick enough. A rather large infection broke out and spread into my jawbone area, believe it or not, causing immense swelling that hit about a day before Thanksgiving, to be exact. That was probably the least enjoyable Thanksgiving meal I’ve had, needless to say.
After my best attempts to enjoy the meal, the time came to put in the research required to figure out whether a root canal or simply pulling the tooth would be the best route to take. Unfortunately,information is a bit lacking, especially as to whether or not there’s a way to get around having to do a dental procedure.
Plenty of holistic health and some holistic dentistry sites recommend avoiding root canals because they’re more of a symptom blocker than a long-term fix, like so many things in our medical industry. Many root canal patients report having to get them re-done a few years later.
The biggest reason why I decided not to get a root canal was because I wasn’t too thrilled about the prospect of leaving many millions of harmful bacteria trapped under my tooth surface to where they could easily escape into the bloodstream through holes in dental filling materials, as researchers including Weston A. Price have discovered. The bacteria can even learn to survive and thrive in environments where no oxygen is present, where they begin to secrete even more harmful toxins.
After learning of my infection I decided to buy as much anti-bacterial and anti-viral products as possible in an attempt to treat it naturally on my own, but in the end I gave in due to time reasons and went to a holistic dentist that was about an hour away. He recommend an extraction as soon as possible.
Prior to that visit I even called a holistic dentist in California (I live in Michigan) for more information on whether or not it is indeed possible to reverse the need for a root canal or extraction without surgery or a procedure of some kind, but didn’t get any concrete answers. Hours of late-night reading on Internet forums from people who’ve faced the same choice were probably my best source of information, unfortunately.
After the extraction the next day, the original feeling of not having a lower molar was quite odd, but I’m used to it now. The goal was to get an implant in place of the removed tooth but that hasn’t happened just yet for various reasons. I am noticing that the shape of my face is changing a bit in that area, even though it seemed like that would be difficult at first thought, so an implant is next on my list, despite the expenses I will have to deal with.
If I had to do it all over again, I would still opt for the extraction over the root canal. But at the same time, I know there has to be a better way.
Some dentists on the west coast have begun using lasers for the treatment of dental-related infections, but I haven’t been able to track them down just yet. Fasting and attempting to starve out the bacteria is another option, but one I haven’t researched enough just yet.
Another option may be an herb blend I wish I had known about prior to my own extraction called Padma Basic, which is considered in some circles to be an alternative to root canals.
According to a 2007 article in Better Nutrition, a total of 82 percent of participants in a study using the herb blend Padma Basic (see here to view the product) were able to improve to the point where they did not need root canal treatments or tooth extractions! The 49 patients took the blend twice a day until their symptoms had disappeared.
That sounds incredible; of course, the skeptic in me wonders why more people don’t know about this popular blend, which was actually used by the iconic Mahatma Gandhi for years. It contains tannins, flavonoids, and essential oils from several plants.
A little double-checking of product reviews for the Padma Basic herb blend for root canal treatment on Amazon.com showed some success stories from customers who were also able to avoid root canals using Padma Basic.
Unfortunately, I’ll never know if the herbal blend would have helped me to save hundreds of dollars, and my tooth, like it did for many of those folks. But proper dental health is extremely important considering a huge percentage of all diseases have oral manifestations, and dental work can be extremely expensive and painful, particularly now when so few people have health insurance, so it might be worth it to try out Padma Basic now if you sense a problem brewing in the dental health department.
Of course, you should always consult with a (preferably holistic) dentist before making any important dental health decisions, but if I had to do it all over again and knew what I know now, I’d try the Padma Basic before anything else, and I’d definitely stick with the extraction over the root canal if forced to make that choice, that’s for sure.
Regardless of what you choose, good luck in your own quest for dental health!
This article was first written in 2013 and updated in April 2018. It is based on real life experiences, studies, and includes information and links to products for sale. In order to support our blogging activities we may make commissions off of the sale of products. This article is for informational purposes only as are all others on this site. Consult a doctor before trying and learn more in our full disclaimer here.
For more information on alternative/holistic dental health you can also check out this book, which was written by a practicing holistic dentist of 40 years named Dr. Nicholas Meyer (no relation).