More Americans Fear Losing Natural Tooth Than Getting Flu or Root Canal

March 17-23 is Root Canal Awareness Week

CHICAGO – Americans are more afraid of losing a natural tooth than they are of getting the flu, according to a January survey by the American Association of Endodontists. Despite an especially bad flu season that taxed hospital emergency rooms nationwide and led some cities to declare a public health emergency, more survey respondents hoped to avoid losing a permanent tooth (74 percent) than avoid getting the flu (73 percent). Also, 70 percent of respondents say they want to avoid getting a root canal, and 60 percent were more anxious about root canal treatment than getting a tooth pulled (57 percent), or receiving a dental implant (54 percent). The underlying factor of these numbers could be connected to outdated concerns about root canal treatment.

During the seventh annual Root Canal Awareness Week, March 17-23, the AAE wants to dispel myths that root canals are painful and encourage patients who need a root canal to see an endodontist to save their natural teeth.

“We want patients to know that there is no reason to be anxious about receiving a root canal,” said AAE President Dr. James C. Kulild. “With today's advanced technologies, root canals are no more painful than getting a filling – root canal treatment is actually one of the best ways to save your natural tooth!”

Endodontists are dentists with at least two additional years of advanced specialty education in diagnosis and root canal treatment. This enhanced training, combined with high levels of expertise, use of cutting-edge technology and impressive success rates are the main reasons patients trust dental specialists, according to the AAE survey. By partnering with endodontists, general dentists can help patients feel less anxious while delivering the highest quality of care. In fact, 89 percent of patients report being satisfied after root canal treatment by an endodontist.

More than 15 million root canals are performed in the U.S. every year.