Root Canals Top List of Patient Fears This Halloween

Dentistry Today
Credit: AAE


Credit: AAE

More people are afraid of getting a root canal (59%) than speaking in public (57%), spiders (55%), or being trapped in an elevator (54%), according to an October survey of 1,000 adults in the United States conducted by the American Association of Endodontists (AAE). When given the option of a root canal or another activity:

  • 57% would rather spend an hour in a room with 10 spiders.
  • 54% would rather sing the national anthem at a sporting event.
  • 53% would rather have a snake in their lap for 15 minutes.
  • 41% would rather go swimming with sharks.

The fear of root canals is even greater for young people, with 73% of those between the ages of 18 and 24 saying they would rather speak in public and 71% saying they would rather run a marathon than get a root canal. Also, 47% of those age 18 to 24 said they would rather go swimming with sharks than get a root canal.

“The reality is there’s nothing to be afraid of when it comes to root canals,” said Keith V. Krell, DDS, MS, MA, president of the AAE. “As pain management experts skilled in advanced dental technology and anesthetics, endodontists can deliver a virtually painless procedure.”

Also, 65% of women and 53% of men reported that they are afraid of root canals. Also, 77% of those between the ages of 55 and 64 said they would rather spend an hour in a room with 10 spiders than get a root canal.

The survey also asked its respondents if they knew which candies were safest for their teeth this Halloween. Only 19% were able to identify chocolate as one of the safest, and only 22.5% were able to identify gummy candy as the worst. Also, 68.1% of those age 65 and older ranked sugarless candy as one of the safest options, compared to 39.5% of those between 25 and 34.

“While wearing fake teeth can be fun at Halloween, there’s nothing like your natural teeth year-round for how they look and how they perform,” said Krell. “If you’re experiencing tooth pain or need a root canal treatment, the best way to ensure you save your natural teeth is to see an endodontist right away.”

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