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No Evidence Linking Dental Treatment to Alzheimer's Disease

Despite provocative reporting and sensational headlines, the American Association of Endodontists (AAE) recently said there is no evidence that Alzheimer's disease can be spread from person to person by direct contact, or through any dental procedures or dental instruments.

"There is no evidence that root canal treatment poses a risk of developing Alzheimer's disease," says AAE President Terryl A. Propper, DDS, MS, a private practicing endodontist in Nashville, Tennessee. "There are procedures in place to minimize infection risk from endodontic instruments such as files and reamers. Many endodontists employ single-use instruments and, if not, instruments are thoroughly sterilized prior to each use."

The study published in the journal Nature makes no mention of dental procedures as a risk factor, and the study author, Professor John Collinge, says, "Our current data has no bearing on dental surgery and certainly does not argue that dentistry poses a risk of Alzheimer's disease."

"There is nothing definitive in this study," says Propper. "Questions remain and the study authors acknowledge that more research is needed."

Source: American Association of Endodontists