The objective of dentistry is, and should be given to, retaining the natural dentition whenever possible and wherever practical. That is, saving a tooth at most to all costs. Root canal treatment is just one procedure that will support and attain this achievable objective.

Root Canal Awareness Week is a national effort to raise awareness of the dentist specializing in root canals, called an endodontist. It’s very important that consumers (patients) and general dentists know how and when to contact an endodontist when root canal treatment is needed. Root Canal Awareness Week is an excellent time to explain the important role endodontists play in dental health, and to teach the public that a root canal should not be feared. This continuing oral health education supports the endodontist as a root canal specialist, educates patients about root canal treatment and its benefits, can dispel any myths or misunderstandings about root canal treatment, and help build relationships with other dental professionals.

According to a survey by the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), 67% of patients say the fear of pain concerns them most about having root canal treatment. Major advances in endodontic and pain management procedures have made the process much simpler, quicker and far less uncomfortable for the patient. Dr. Terryl A. Propper, AAE president, said in an AAE statement released for Root Canal Awareness Week, “Endodontists, the root canal specialists, devote their practice to root canal treatment and related procedures. We use technologies like microscopes, digital and 3-D imaging and ultrasonics to diagnose and treat our patients quickly, comfortably and successfully.”

The AAE notes that endodontists have at least two years of additional training beyond dental school, and specialize in performing root canals, and diagnosing and treating tooth pain. Dentists refer an average of 43% of root canal patients to endodontists, according to the AAE, and 94% of all general dentists have a positive or very positive perception of endodontists and the care they provide. AAE president, Propper, advised, “Even if your dentist does not recommend a root canal specialist, ask about the benefits of consulting one. Americans are taking more control of their health care, and that should include oral health. Patients who need root canal treatment should consider seeing an endodontist.”

When the subject of root canal arises, a patient should ask their dentist specifically why they need a root canal. A patient can request an endodontist referral based on their specific needs and deserves an endodontist who has advanced experience, and employs the most cutting edge equipment, including operating microscopes and rotary instrumentation. To find the right endodontist, patients should ask how long the endodontist has been performing root canals, and how frequently they perform them. It’s important that a patient select an endodontist in a convenient and accessible location, with convenient office hours.

Having a root canal will help you keep your natural tooth, while eradicating your diagnosed dental problem. Your endodontist can perform your root canal professionally and efficiently, while keeping you comfortable, and you get to keep your natural tooth. It’s a win-win for everyone involved!

Material in this blog was taken in part from: and from the American Association of Endodontists Website at

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