In March of each year the American Association of Endodontists (AAE) has a Root Canal Awareness Week. This year they put out a press release about how:
“While 63 percent of Americans would like to avoid getting a root canal, even more, 69 percent, want to avoid losing a permanent tooth—something a root canal procedure can help to prevent. A January survey of 1,014 U.S. adults by the American Association of Endodontists found that Americans want to avoid losing a permanent tooth more than getting the flu, paying taxes or speaking in public.”
I contacted their public relations coordinator, Meredith Friedman, and she provided additional details, which I’ve shown above in a bar chart. (Click on it for an enlarged version.) The phone survey of 1014 adults in the US (505 women and 509 men) was done for AAE by CARAVAN between January 12 and 15. People were asked how much they would like to avoid five situations. They were told to rate them on a scale from 1=not at all to 5= very much, and the percents shown are for the top two categories (4 and 5).
They also did a similar survey from January 13 to 16, 2011, with similar results as shown above.
On March 29th I blogged about another survey done in 2010 where 33% wanted to avoid getting a root canal, 23% wanted to avoid cold calls, 18% didn't want to give up sex, 15% wanted to avoid the reality TV appearance, but only 13% wanted to avoid speaking in public.
Clearly public speaking isn’t what the most people would prefer to avoid - despite what speaking coaches might try to tell you based on quoting old surveys.
The 1890 stereo card image of a dentist pulling a tooth came from the Library of Congress.