May: ‘Save Your Tooth’ month

Posted by watchmen
May 2, 2024

By Dr. Joseph D. Lim

May is Save Your Tooth Month, the American Association of Endodontists (AAE) has declared.

In America, the AAE will showcase the benefits of getting a root canal treatment from a specialist.

The AAE, based in Chicago, represents more than 8,000 members worldwide. Endodontics is one of 12 dental specialties formally recognized by the American Dental Association.

All endodontists are dentists. However, less than three percent of dentists are endodontists.

What makes endodontists different? After four years of dental school, endodontists study for two or three more years of training in an advanced specialty program. The program focuses on diseases of the dental pulp, how to diagnose tooth pain and perform root canal treatment and other procedures relating to the interior of the tooth.

Because they dedicate their time to diagnosing and treating tooth pain, endodontists don’t put fillings or clean teeth.

According to the AAE, endodontists focus exclusively on treatments of the dental pulp, completing an average of 25 root canal treatments a week.

“Nothing looks, feels or functions like your natural tooth. Regular brushing and flossing, along with six-month check-ups from your dentist, can help you keep your teeth for a lifetime,” the AAE message goes.

“Sometimes your teeth may have infection or disease and will need additional care. When possible, you should always consider treatments to save your teeth. When given the choice between root canal treatment and extraction, always choose the root canal route whenever possible.”

According to a November 2021 survey fielded by the AAE, 81 percent of American adults wish they had taken better care of their natural teeth.

More than a quarter (26 percent) of Americans feel others would find them more attractive and about one in six (16 percent) feel they would have a more active dating life if they took better care of their teeth.

Beyond appearances, there are very good reasons to take care of your oral health.

“Oral health involves more than just keeping your teeth looking their best,” said Dr. Stefan I. Zweig, AAE President. “Poor dental health can lead to overall health issues and can negatively impact mood, confidence, ability to carry out daily tasks and more.”

In the AAE survey, more than half (55 percent) wish their parents had instilled better oral hygiene habits when they were younger. Four in 10 (43 percent) admit that tooth pain or oral health issues negatively affects their productivity or ability to focus.

“Visiting your general dentist for bi-annual checkups and cleanings is always advisable, but what to do when you fell behind on your preventive care and now have tooth pain? The answer is simple: Seek an endodontist,” the AAE message continues.

“Maintaining good oral health could be an important factor in living your life to the fullest,” Dr. Zweig said.


Dr. Joseph D. Lim, Ed. D., is the former Associate Dean of the College of Dentistry, University of the East; former Dean, College of Dentistry, National University; Past President and Honorary Fellow of the Asian Oral Implant Academy; Honorary Fellow of the Japan College of Oral Implantologists; Honorary Life Member of the Thai Association of Dental Implantology; and Founding Chairman of the Philippine College of Oral Implantologists. For questions on dental health, e-mail or text 0917-8591515.


Dr. Kenneth Lester Lim, BS-MMG, DDM, MSc-OI, graduated Doctor of Dental Medicine, University of the Philippines, College of Dentistry, Manila, 2011; Bachelor of Science in Marketing Management, De La Salle University, Manila, 2002; and Master of Science (MSc.) in Oral Implantology, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany, 2019. He is an Associate Professor; Fellow, International Congress of Oral Implantologists; Member, American Academy of Implant Dentistry and Fellow, Philippine College of Oral Implantologists. For questions on dental health, e-mail

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