AAE helps general dentists, endodontists continue to build stronger ties

March 3, 2010
Survey reveals keys to successful partnership.

CHICAGO, Illinois--To kick off its fourth annual Root Canal Awareness Week March 28 – April 3, 2010, the American Association of Endodontists has recognized the important partnership endodontists and dentists share in the dental care paradigm.

The AAE recently surveyed 983 general dentists and is utilizing the findings to highlight ways endodontists and general dentists can best work together for the benefit of root canal patients.

According to the survey, more than 94% of general dentists say the two most effective ways endodontists build relationships with them occur following a root canal procedure when endodontists promptly send reports and film back to the general dentist and refer patients back to the dentist for restorative treatment.

Dentists who refer patients to a specialist want to ensure they consistently stay informed of their patients' condition, and are prepared to perform the necessary follow-up care.

A majority of dentists also say their best endodontist partners accommodate emergencies into their schedule (92%), are available for second opinions (90%), and collaborate on a treatment plan for referred patients (86%).

"Consumers deserve the highest quality dental care when it comes to complex procedures like root canals," said Dr. Gerald N. Glickman, AAE president. "Root Canal Awareness Week is the perfect opportunity to highlight ways endodontists help general dentists provide that care and explore other mutual benefits of working in partnership."

Dr. Glickman added, "Many things dentists cited in the survey are simple steps many endodontists already are doing. But with more than 15 million root canals performed in the U.S. every year, dental practices, along with their patients, could benefit from even greater collaboration with endodontists."

The survey emphasized the importance of frequent, personal interaction and communication between general dentists and endodontists, and reiterated the results of an earlier AAE study that showed general dentists find value in the services endodontists provide to their patients.

Eighty-seven percent of dentists said the work an endodontist performs is "worth the cost" while just 35% of dentists believe they can do many of the same procedures as endodontists (and just as well) for less cost. The vast majority (93%) of dentists see endodontists as partners in delivering quality dental care.

"We are pleased to know that our referring colleagues hold our specialty in such high regard, and do not take that partnership for granted," said Dr. Glickman.

He added that the AAE will use the survey data in future initiatives to help dentists and endodontists build even stronger relationships, better understand the role they can play, and provide greater quality of care to dental patients.

For more information on the survey or Root Canal Awareness Week, please contact Public Relations Coordinator Jennifer Gibson at (800) USA-ENDO, or visit the AAE Web site at American Association of Endodontists.

For a print-ready Root Canal Awareness Week poster, visit Root Canal Awareness Week.

To read more about endodontics, go to endodontics.

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