Root Cause: An Opportunity Disguised as an Attack Since the release of the Netflix “Documentary”, Root Cause, the dental community has been put in a position to fiercely defend this great profession that restores health, improves appearance, and in many cases, relieves extreme discomfort for the general population. The synopsis, which seems quite misleading explains the following: “Root Cause is a feature length documentary featuring expert opinions from cutting edge doctors and dentists from around the world, that exposes the true health effects of the root canal procedure. Root Cause is one man’s extraordinary, personal journey of self-discovery set to send ripples through the dental profession and expose perhaps one of the world’s greatest medical industry cover-ups.” This film insinuates that dentists have knowingly caused major health issues for their patients. It’s clear to see why so dental professional have been pushed in to defense mode, and openly attacking the “expert opinions” featured in the film. Whenever a shocking and very biased movement is created, we must consider who is behind it. There’s always someone funding the movement that changes the perception of a widely held belief. In this instance, it could be one of many. It’s very likely that a holistic, biological dentist or group of dentists have decided to fund this movement and create a demand for their style of dentistry. A bold and shocking accusation such as the claims inferred in the synopsis, is intended to leave even those who do not watch the film questioning their dentist, instead of turning to him or her for clarification. Any time a major change occurs, there is hidden opportunity. As a marketing expert, this hidden opportunity is immediately evident to me. As the world questions the harm of root canal treatment, we have an opportunity to share the REAL harm – oral bacteria. Below is a breakdown of how I see it. Hopefully, my break down can help you embrace this opportunity and utilize the marketing necessary to share truth with your community and further protect and enhance a very necessary medical field. Marketing Opportunity #1: The mouth is connected to the body. While done in a tasteless and misleading way, this documentary is bringing attention to the fact that disease and bacteria in the mouth can cause and exacerbate medical conditions. As your marketing adviser, I recommend you take to social media. Talk about how there’s truth in the oral and overall health connection and how, as shown in the documentary, oral bacteria can in fact impact your overall health. Lead patients to schedule with you more frequently, pay diligent attention to their at home care and resolve any ignored oral health conditions, which are likely creating further infection systemically. The TRUE root cause of all oral health related conditions is the lack of professional and at home oral health care. Marketing Opportunity #2: Embrace a holistic approach. It’s unclear to me whether or not a holistic or biological dentist or group of dentists is behind the funding of this project, but this finding wouldn’t surprise me. After hearing about this documentary, I took to Google. The searches often returned articles about the Netflix film which ultimately directed viewers to a holistic / biological dentist. Take note that patients will be searching these terms and do what you feel is necessary to educate your patients on this dental niche. Debunk myths, share truths boldly and give patients their options in care. Speak up! You will not create change or provide truth to your community by pretending this misinformation does not exist. Encourage your patients to talk to you about these topics, and share true scholarly research that will most benefit those within your influence. Marketing Opportunity #3: Show your patients alternatives to avoiding root canal therapy. It’s their bodies and their decisions in how they want to care for the teeth they’ve neglected. Let them know about implant dentistry, odds of repair with “oil pulling”, and the end results of DIY dentistry. Show them images of patients who have avoided needed root canals, active infection and the true cause of these issues – NEGLECT. Although frustrating and painful to watch, we cannot ignore the presence of this propaganda. We must embrace marketing if we are to educate and properly care for our communities. We have the power to influence, as long as we accept the reality of today’s world. We live in a time where convenience is everything, conspiracy is sexy, and dentistry is “bad”. Until we begin to embrace marketing, we cannot change the public’s perception and restore the brand of our great profession. To learn more about how you can create a powerful platform for educating your community, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.