When it comes to dealing with a badly infected tooth, patients are commonly faced with a choice between preserving the natural tooth by root canal therapy (endodontic treatment) or losing the tooth by extraction. Apart from the professional recommendation of the dentist, both options are associated with different concerns and considerations that might affect patient choice of treatment.

Recently, DentaVox Survey ‘To Save or Lose a Tooth’ examined the predispositions of patients towards both alternatives. The results show that root canal treatment is the preferred option for the majority (67%) of respondents. Furthermore, the results reveal that the dentist plays a key role in affecting patient’s decision. However, some of the reasons for choosing between endodontic treatment and tooth extraction are different for men and women.

Key findings:

Find out the main findings in the infographic below:

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#1: What are men and women more likely to choose – root canal treatment or tooth extraction?

A significantly higher percentage of men than women would opt for root canal therapy. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact reasons for this result. Previous research reveals female patients are more anxious about endodontic treatment both before and after procedures. This high levels of anxiety about the treatment might offer a possible explanation for their disposition towards this treatment option. 

#2: Why would people rather opt for canal treatment?

According to survey results, both male and female respondents point out professional advice by their dentist as the most decisive factor to prefer root canal treatment. However, the second most popular motive for choosing endodontic therapy is not the same for men and women. While men are more inclined to rely on a recommendation from their social circle, women consider it as the modern way of dealing with a badly damaged tooth. It is quite surprising that only 23% of respondents admit fear of tooth extraction will push them to choose endodontic therapy. 

#3: Why would people prefer tooth extraction?

The majority of respondents in favour of tooth extraction would go for it if advised so by their dentist. Fear of root canal treatment is the second most popular reason to consider this decisive measure. In view of the common misconceptions about pain and side effects of endodontic treatment, this finding may not be so unanticipated as it first appears.
For female participants, financial concerns rank as the third most popular reason to opt for losing a tooth over root canal treatment. For men, it is associated with previous positive experience with the procedure.


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Source: DentaVox, Survey: To Save or Lose a Tooth | Base: 447 respondents, 14/06-03/09/2019