George E. Meinig, best known internationally for his book "Root Canal Cover-Up", passed away on 2 May 2008 at the age of 93. Up through even the prior week, we had continued to collaborate on a follow-up joint book project, tentatively titled “Root Canal Time Bomb – Roots of Cancer”.
Some 65 years had passed since he was invited to become a founding member of the American Association of Endodontists (AAE). Thus his charge in recent years of a “cover-up” of facts concerning hazards of root canal treatments cannot be taken lightly. These facts had indeed been submerged from his view through all his years of dental education and practice and beyond, even up to the present time. In making this charge, he parted ways with those very professional organizations and colleagues with whom he had shared a long and distinguished professional life – because the facts of the situation demanded it.
Without detracting from the great efforts and accomplishments of Weston Price and others early in the 20th Century, circumstances greeting George Meinig's involvement at the end of the century were uniquely difficult. By then debate over systemic effects of infected teeth was muted, seemingly whispered as quasi-heresy, and root canal treatments had become firmly ensconced as common practice. Moreover, he took on what he truly felt was his personal responsibility at a relatively advanced age, at his own expense, and with far more opposition than support. Nonetheless he has indeed succeeded in taking a big and irreversible step toward bringing this long-buried fundamental issue to the attention of the world -- as particularly embodied in the achievement of publication in the Japanese language.
There is no health-related issue facing the world today that is more fundamental than the interface between the domains of dentistry and medicine. And there is no book published in modern times that strikes so directly and deeply, as does "Root Canal Cover-Up", at the entrenched orthodoxy that inhibits progress on this issue. George Meinig has thus achieved a unique position in the history of dentistry and medicine through the fortunate combination of his own professional history, his courage, and his personal integrity. His spirit and hunger for truth and knowledge will live forever as incomparable inspiration and light.
S. Hale Shakman, PhD