Root canal therapy is a procedure that allows dentists to save severely decayed, damaged, or infected teeth. The root canal procedure involves going to the pulp chamber of a tooth to remove the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues there. This brings an end to infections and protects against them. It also stops any pain…
Managing Dental Anxiety During Root Canal Procedure
When your dentist informs you that you need a root canal, you may automatically feel nervousness or even fear. If you dread this procedure, you are certainly not alone. This endodontic treatment causes anxiety in many dental patients, but it does not have to. Your dentist can make you feel more at ease during this process and help you enjoy better oral health. Fortunately, there are some tactics you and your dentist can use to feel less on edge before and during this treatment.
How the procedure works
A root canal is an effective way to remove an infected pulp chamber of a patient’s tooth. Bacteria can attack this area, which resides below the enamel and dentin layers, causing severe pain and swelling. If a patient ignores the problem, it will spread and become more serious. When dentists perform a root canal, they will take out the pulp and remove the infection. The process of this treatment looks like this:
- The dentist examines the mouth and takes X-rays
- The dentist numbs the patient and prepares them for the procedure
- The dentist drills into the tooth and removes the infected pulp
- The dentist injects medication into the tooth to kill the remaining infection
- The dentist seals the tooth and may put a crown on it
Get some education
A person should not go into this procedure completely ignorant. It can be helpful to learn more about the process and what to expect. People should do some online research and understand the steps the dentist takes to perform this treatment. Having a better idea of what will happen during this 90-minute appointment can be an effective way to put one’s mind at ease.
Talk to the dentist about the root canal
Once the dentist determines the patient has an infection in the pulp, the two individuals will discuss the next steps. This is a good opportunity for the patient to express concerns and ask any questions about the procedure and recovery. The dentist may talk about any alternatives as well. No dentist will ever perform this procedure without getting a person’s consent and making sure the patient understands the importance of doing it.
Listen to music
People who feel aggravated about the appointment should consider listening to their favorite music. This can help distract the person and divert focus. This tactic can also make it more difficult for the patient to hear the drilling noises that might otherwise cause anxiety. A person’s favorite music can provide emotional comfort.
Get some medication
The dentist will likely use a local anesthetic to numb the patient’s mouth. This process usually takes effect in a few minutes and should last well after the appointment. With minimal or no pain, the patient can feel calmer. People can also discuss other pain managing options with the dentist.
You can go through with it
Getting a root canal can be scary. This does not have to be an intimidating procedure, however. Try some of these strategies to feel more comfortable during the process. Speak to your dentist today about other recommendations for handling your apprehension.
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