Root canal work is not as bad as people think when compared to other dental procedures, an Australian study has found.
Self-reporting of their dental health suggests that patients find the procedure no worse than other dental work which overturns the popular belief that root canal work is the most unpleasant dental treatment.
For the University of Adelaide study, published in the Journal of Endodontics, information about 1096 randomly selected Australian people aged 30-61 was collected through questionnaires, dental records and treatment receipts in 2009. Their self-rated dental health score was checked when they had their dental work and two years later.
“Patients who had root canal work reported similar oral health-related quality of life as people who had other types of dental work [such as] tooth extraction, restoration of teeth, repairs to the teeth or gum treatment, preventative treatment and cleaning,” study author Dr Tallan Chew said.
“Patient-reported treatment outcomes are now the principle driving force behind treatment needs, as opposed to clinician-based treatment outcomes,” co-author Professor Giampiero Rossi-Fedele added.
“With this change in emphasis, the perspectives of patients and their relatives are important factors in identifying need for treatment, treatment planning, and determining outcomes from any health care intervention as part of shared decision-making.”