Americans say, ‘I would rather have a root canal than the flu’
CHICAGO, Ill., USA: According to a recent survey by the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), 78 percent of respondents say they would rather avoid getting the flu than having root canal treatment. The same number also say they would rather avoid losing a permanent tooth, which is something root canal treatment can help keep from happening.
“Maybe it’s time to change the old, ‘I’d rather have a root canal...’ saying to ‘I’d rather have the flu...’ for something I really don’t want to do,” said AAE President Dr. Robert S. Roda, an endodontist in Scottsdale, Ariz. “The root canal procedures of your parents or grandparents are no more. Thanks to advancements in techniques and technologies, today’s root canal treatment is virtually painless.”
During its ninth annual Root Canal Awareness Week, March 22-28, the AAE wants to dispel myths surrounding root canal treatment and encourage general dentists to involve endodontists in case assessment and treatment planning to save patients’ natural teeth.
“Being part of a team of generalists and specialists is the best way to develop true multidisciplinary treatment planning and provide the greatest chance for good outcomes,” Roda said. “Together we provide patients with comfortable treatment and positive experiences resulting in high-quality care to help them save their natural teeth.”
A recent AAE study found that 94 percent of general practitioners have a positive or very positive perception of endodontists, and the same percentage agree that endodontists are partners in delivering quality dental care. By partnering with endodontists, general dentists can help patients feel less anxious. The AAE’s Root Canal Awareness Week survey found that root canal treatment continues to be the dental procedure that makes patients most apprehensive, however 89 percent of patients report being satisfied after root canal treatment by an endodontist.
To encourage collaboration between general dentists and endodontists, the AAE offers many free resources:
- The Root Canal Safety web page contains authoritative and reliable information about the safety of endodontic treatment, while debunking myths that root canals cause cancer or other health problems.
- Treatment Options for the Compromised Tooth: A Decision Guide includes case examples with radiographs of successful endodontic treatment in difficult cases and encourages general dentists to assess all possible endodontic treatment options to save the natural detention.
- The Case Difficulty Assessment and Referral Form offers guidance to help evaluate a patient's condition and assess risk factors that may affect the outcome of treatment.
- The ENDODONTICS: Colleagues for Excellence newsletter highlights clinical topics of interest to dentists who perform their own endodontic treatment and benefit from coverage of best practices and the latest advancements in the specialty.
- Endodontists: Partners in Patient Care is a video that explains what an endodontist is and how specialists work with general dentists to provide the highest levels of patient care. It is a great resource to show patients when a referral to a specialist is needed.
By using these tools during Root Canal Awareness Week and throughout the year, general dentists ensure they are developing the best treatment plans to save natural teeth and keep patients satisfied.
To help promote Root Canal Awareness Week, print the AAE poster to share in your offices or clinics. For more information, visit www.aae.org/rcaw, follow the AAE on Facebook and Twitter or search #rootcanal.