Beware of the Root
April 26, 2021
by Caren Abraham, DDS
One of the things that really gets us as dentists is roots. Whether it is extracting a retained root or trying to locate MB2 during a root canal, roots seem to be one of the trickiest parts of our practice. One of my least favorite parts of the practice here in Africa is removing residual roots from a previously attempted extraction performed by someone in the community who has a reputation for pulling teeth. Often, the patient does not even know roots remain inside the bone, or sometimes they have been told there is no problem in leaving the roots there. Yet without exception, they come to us in pain and fully infected.
The roots are not visible, but they do a lot of damage, causing all sorts of damaging symptoms. While this is certainly not a favorite situation of mine, it is an incredible opportunity to talk with patients about the vivid illustration they have just seen of what a root of sin can do in our lives. The Bible cautions us about many different roots.
Bitterness is described as a root in Hebrews 12:15: “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled” (KJV). Bitterness is something that grips a person on the inside, usually in response to negative situation or experience. Yet it does only one thing—trouble us and those around us.
1 Timothy 6:10 warns against the love of money: “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (KJV). What a person loves is not visible on the outside, but we can see all around us the painful consequences of loving money: from corruption to criminal activities, it seems the effects are everywhere.
And yet, strong roots are essential for maintaining a healthy dentition. The same way, the Bible tells us that when we are rooted in Christ, our lives will be established and we can abound in what the Lord calls us to do. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6-7, KJV).
So as we tangle with tooth roots, let us be aware of the roots in our own lives and take the time to help those around us identify and treat theirs as well.