Dear AAE member,
As you may know, yesterday's edition of the Wall Street Journal featured a prominent article titled To Avoid Root Canals, Teeth That Replace Themselves.
The article draws attention to an emerging area of dentistry, highlighting exciting new research into pulp regeneration from Japan and the U.S. Unfortunately, the author also reinforces outdated myths about root canal treatment, and undermines the efficacy of traditional endodontic therapies. The AAE has written a response to WSJ columnist Shirley Wang to address both points, and to offer AAE expertise on future coverage of this topic. We’re also conducting educational outreach to patients via our Twitter and Facebook outposts.
The AAE recognizes the tremendous future potential in regenerative endodontics, and has made the cultivation of endodontic leadership in this field a strategic priority. As a result of our concerted efforts to-date, I’m pleased to report that we’ve:
Successfully proposed revisions to the Accreditation Standards for Advanced Specialty Education Programs in Endodontics to include revascularization/regenerative endodontics as required curriculum as of January 1, 2014.
Invested $2.5 million in a multi-year grant from the AAE Foundation to support clinical research in regeneration.
Introduced a new code to report pulpal regeneration procedures as part of the 2011-2012 ADA Current Dental Terminology.
Published a position stating regenerative endodontics is within the scope of practice of endodontics.
What You Can Do
1. Partner with your referring dentists. Take this opportunity to conduct timely outreach to your referring partners, who no doubt recognize that regenerative treatment protocols are still in their infancy, and may benefit from hearing of endodontists' leadership and expertise in this dynamic field of research. Together, you can educate patients about the continued efficacy and comfort of modern endodontic treatment options.
2. Educate patients. Now more than ever before, patients are using digital media in healthcare education and decision making. Develop content for your practice websites and social media pages that tracks advances in regenerative endodontics, and underlines the pioneering efforts of endodontic specialists in this arena, while also debunking common root canal myths and raising awareness of endodontic treatment options.
3. Rely on AAE resources.
The current issue of the ENDODONTICS: Colleagues for Excellence newsletter, Regenerative Endodontics, provides a solid introduction to the biological basis of regenerative endodontic procedures, clinical considerations, outcomes and potential future impact of this new area of dentistry. Distribute it and our position statement to referring dentists to start a dialogue and reiterate your partnership.
Our Regenerative Endodontics Committee is collecting your data on successful and unsuccessful revascularization cases to help establish “best practices” for treatment of and future research on the incompletely developed tooth with a necrotic pulp. Submit your cases to our Regenerative Endodontics Database.
I invite you to follow our ongoing news coverage on this topic, including my President’s Message in the July 2013 Communiqué newsletter (mailing later this month), in which I’ve interviewed special guest Dr. Anibal Diogenes on the status of regenerative endodontic research.
AAE efforts to position endodontists at the forefront of this field will continue, as we simultaneously advance the success of all endodontic treatment modalities and the expertise of endodontic specialists. Thank you for your ongoing support of our efforts!
Gary R. Hartwell, D.D.S., M.S.