Many people dread the idea of a root canal procedure, but in fact this form of treatment does not deserve its fearsome reputation. Dentists work hard to keep patients comfortable throughout a root canal, which means there is no need to worry if you have one scheduled in the near future. However, anxiety can be a difficult emotion to overcome. Try using the following tips to help yourself feel calmer.
1. Get the Facts
Many people feel more anxious about a root canal procedure than they would about a more familiar treatment, such as a dental filling, simply because they do not know what to expect. During a root canal treatment, a dentist removes bacteria from the inside part of a tooth to prevent the spread of decay. After removing as much bacteria as possible, the dentist applies a filling or crown to seal the tooth and prevent re-infection.
It is never a good idea to put off a root canal treatment. The longer you leave tooth decay untreated, the further it spreads into the tooth. Eventually, this spread will affect the nerve of the tooth, causing toothache. At this point, the only option might be for your dentist to pull out the tooth and replace it with a bridge or dental implant. A root canal treatment is far less invasive than either of these options.
2. Visit a Dentist You Can Trust
Anxious patients often benefit from building a relationship with their dentist before they undergo treatment. If you do not feel comfortable with your current dentist, why not switch to a different one and schedule an introductory appointment before your root canal procedure?
Staff at a good dental practice will do everything they can to put you at ease during your treatment. If you let them know that you feel anxious, they can schedule a little extra time for your appointment so that you do not feel rushed at any point.
3. Use a Sleep Dentist
Some people have dental phobias so severe that they simply cannot face a root canal treatment without sedation. If this is your situation, you can visit a sleep dentist who offers various sedation options to allow you to be asleep or semi-conscious during the treatment.
For example, you could use nitrous oxide, which makes you feel relaxed and happy, along with a local anaesthetic to block pain. Alternatively, you could opt for IV sedation, which leaves you sleepy and unaware during the treatment.