The American Association of Endodontists (AAE) has recently release some great news. In preparation for their 8th annual Root Canal Awareness Week, taking place between March 30 and April 5, 2014, they conducted a survey to gauge the general feelings of American adults on the topic of root canals. According to a recent Dental Tribune article, the number of individuals who are apprehensive about the common procedure is down, from 60% in 2013 to 54%, which also happens to be the lowest number reported since the AAE began the annual survey a few years ago. Additionally, 76% of participants claimed they would want to avoid losing a permanent tooth, which root canal treatment can help prevent. It would appear that the mission of the annual campaign, to dispel myths about root canal treatment, is working.
A secondary goal in for those involved in Root Canal Awareness Week is to encourage general dentists to involve endodontists in assessment and treatment planning in an effort to save patients’ natural teeth. A recent study from AAE found that the majority of general practitioners (94%) have a positive perception of endodontists and believe them to be partners in delivering quality dental care. “Endodontists and general dentists enjoy strong working relationships,” claimed AAE President Dr. Gary R. Hartwell. “Together we provide patients with comfortable treatment and positive experiences resulting in high-quality care and optimal outcomes to help them save their natural teeth,” he added. Previously, root canals were given a bad reputation, often being associated with high levels of pain. But thanks to modern dentistry and anesthesia, the treatment is typically quick and pain-free, which is why millions of them are successfully completed annually.
In preparation for the annual event, the AAE is providing several free resources to encourage collaboration between general dentists and endodontists. They include:
- Treatment Options for the Compromised Tooth: A Decision Guide
- The Case Difficulty Assessment and Referral Form
- The ENDODONTICS: Colleagues for Excellence (newsletter)
- Endodontists: Partners in Patient Care (video)
For more information, visit their website at www.aae.org/rcaw