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Awareness Campaign Launched To Prevent Unneccessary Tooth Removal

Today (Monday March 7 2011) leading dental professionals are launching the Saving Teeth Awareness Campaign to provide information to patients who have a tooth infection that could result in tooth loss. The campaign was prompted by the widespread lack of awareness amongst patients that many teeth can be saved by endodontics (root canal therapy).

Recent figures for the NHS show that two million teeth were removed last year but only approximately half a million root treatments were undertaken*. The options for replacing a lost tooth might be a bridge, a denture or an implant. In the interests of dental health, however, if the natural tooth can be saved through root canal therapy and adequately restored, it should be first choice.

The campaign's key messages are:

  • Saving a tooth is, where possible, better for the health of your mouth.
  • A well root-treated tooth covered with a crown can survive for many years if not for the rest of your life.
  • If a tooth becomes infected and left untreated bone loss can occur.

Backing for the Saving Teeth Awareness Campaign, spearheaded by root canal specialist Julian Webber, a world leader in the field of endodontics and his colleague and endodontic specialist, Trevor Lamb, is growing. Supporters include recognised authorities in areas such as restorative dentistry, oral surgery, and the psychology of dentistry along with patients and high profile supporters Michael Winner and Peter Snow.

The campaign would like to see the NHS recognising and remunerating the additional skills and costly equipment used by specialists and dentists with additional training. With new dental payment systems about to be piloted next month (April), and widespread agreement that the NHS should be rewarding quality, it is an ideal time to introduce commissioning of specialist treatment in general practice.