The organization this month polled more than 1,000 adults and found a distinct preference for snakes and sharks as well.
The survey found the following results when respondents were asked about undergoing a root canal or doing another activity:
- 57% of respondents would rather spend one hour in a room with 10 spiders.
- 54% would rather sing the national anthem at a sport game.
- 53% would rather have a snake in their lap for 15 minutes.
- 41% would rather go swimming with sharks.
Fear of root canals was greatest among young people (73%) between ages 18 and 24, with 71% of them preferring to run a marathon. In addition, more women (65%) were afraid of root canals, compared with men (53%).
"The reality is there's nothing to be afraid of when it comes to root canals," said AAE President Keith Krell, DDS, in a statement. "As pain management experts skilled in advanced dental technology and anesthetics, endodontists can deliver a virtually painless procedure."
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