American Association of Endodontists launches campaign

March 9, 2005
Endodontists' awareness campaign stresses special skills, relationship with general practitioners

The American Association of Endodontists has launched an awareness campaign to educate consumers and the dental community about the unique role endodontists play in oral health.

Themed Endodontists: the root canal specialists, the initiative is designed to inform consumers about what endodontists do; dispel myths and misperceptions about root canals; and ensure that all dental professionals understand and value the expertise endodontists bring to their patients. For more information about the campaign, visit

The campaign will focus on the complementary relationship between endodontists and general practitioners. "Endodontists couldn't do what we do without the support of general practitioners," said Sandra Madison, D.D.S., M.S., president of the AAE. "In return, we want general dentists to know we're always available to their patients and practices�whether it's performing an emergency root canal or weighing in on a difficult case."

The campaign also will emphasize the importance of saving natural teeth. "Nothing, not even the newest types of bridges and implants, can truly replace a natural tooth," said Dr. Madison. "So saving a tooth should always be the first option considered."

Although it is necessary in some cases to extract a tooth and replace it with an implant or bridgework, Americans themselves have strong negative feelings about losing their natural teeth. In a recent AAE survey, 76 percent of participants said they would prefer a root canal to tooth extraction. Nearly a third said they would not sell a healthy front tooth for any amount of money.

Root Canal Specialists
Endodontists are specially trained to perform even the most complex root canals. They attend four years of dental school and complete two or more additional years of postdoctoral training in endodontics.

"In addition to performing routine root canals, endodontists are experts in treating very complicated cases, such as teeth with unusual or complex root structures, or small, narrow canals," Dr. Madison said. "Endodontists perform these difficult procedures daily."

Root canals performed by endodontists are a better and common alternative to tooth extraction. With new knowledge and technology, endodontists are able to save many teeth that in the past would have been extracted. Root canals save nearly 16 million teeth each year.

About the AAE
The American Association of Endodontists, headquartered in Chicago, represents more than 6,300 members worldwide, including approximately 95 percent of all eligible endodontists in the United States. The Association, founded in 1943, is dedicated to excellence in the art and science of endodontics and to the highest standard of patient care. The Association inspires its members to pursue professional advancement and personal fulfillment through education, research, advocacy, leadership, communication and service. For more information, visit the AAE Web site at