Over three-quarters of Americans favor root canal treatments

Fewer Americans fear root canal treatment, according to a recent survey by the American Association of Endodontists. Just over half of those surveyed, 54 percent, said root canals make them apprehensive, down from 60 percent in 2013, and the lowest numbers reported since the AAE began its annual survey in 2011. In addition, more than three-quarters of Americans, 76 percent, say they would want to avoid losing a permanent tooth, something root canal treatment can help prevent.

"Thanks to advancements like modern anesthesia, digital imaging and operating microscopes, today's root canal treatments are often quick and painless," said AAE President Dr. Gary R. Hartwell. "The root canal doesn't deserve its bad reputation. Millions of root canal treatments are performed successfully every year, saving natural teeth and helping patients keep their smiles."

Those who have undergone root canal treatment agree. AAE research found that patients who have experienced root canal treatment are six times more likely to describe it as "painless" than patients who have not had root canal treatment, and 89 percent of patients say they were satisfied when they received treatment from an endodontist, a dentist who specializes in root canals. The AAE video, Endodontists Put Root Canal Patients at Ease, explains the procedure and highlights patients pleased with their root canal treatments.

During Root Canal Awareness Week, March 30 – April 5, the AAE wants to dispel myths surrounding this dental treatment and encourage patients who need a root canal to see an endodontist to save their natural teeth. Endodontists have at least two years of additional training beyond dental school and are highly skilled specialists in performing root canals and diagnosing and treating tooth pain. Their mix of advanced training, techniques and equipment improve patient comfort, ease anxiety and alleviate pain.

"Root canal treatment is not painful, rather, it relives the patient's pain," explained Dr. Hartwell.

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