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Study: Half of Americans fear dentist, avoid dental care
Updated: 3/31/2009 3:00:26 PM

Study: Half of Americans fear dentist, avoid dental care Out of all the dental care procedures administered during a dental checkup, none sparks more fear in the hearts of patients than the dreaded root canal, according to a report.

In time to help kick off the third annual Root Canal Awareness Week, which goes till April 4, the American Association of Endodontists (AAE) conducted a survey about people's perceptions of dental care.

According to the report, 80 percent of American adults suffer from a fear of the dentist with more than half responding that it keeps them from scheduling a dental checkup. As for root canals, 54 percent said they were as afraid of the procedure as they are of flying on an airplane during a storm.

"There are many misconceptions about dental visits and root canal treatment," said Dr. Louis E. Rossman, AAE president. "Patients need to understand that root canals actually relieve tooth pain and are much more comfortable today thanks to new technology and endodontists' specialized training."

However, the study also found that approximately one-third of respondents admitted their fear of the dentist is based on hearing about someone else's experience rather than their own.

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