You visit your dentist biannually and brush your teeth regularly. You try to take good care of your teeth, but after performing an x-ray, your dentist gives you the dreaded news: you need a root canal. Your dentist refers you to an endodontist, a dentist who specializes in treating the inner pulp of teeth, but you're terrified. You've heard that root canals are very painful. Here are three tips to help calm your dental fears:
1. Do your research.
Root canals can be scary! After all, they're often portrayed as the worst, most painful dental procedures. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. Root canal treatment has become less painful as technology has advanced. In fact, according to the American Association of Endodontists, root canals aren't any more painful than having a regular cavity filled. Doing some research on the actual root canal procedure can replace your fears with comforting knowledge. Asking your endodontist to explain the procedure as he performs it can also help to relieve apprehension.
2. Listen to music.
Some dentists provide music in-office, but nothing is as soothing as listening to tunes that you love. Make a playlist of all your favorite songs, and bring them to your root canal appointment on your phone or mp3 player. Most dentists will be happy to let you listen to your own music using headphones or earbuds, but you should call your endodontist's office ahead of time to check.
3. Find an anxiety specialist.
If possible, find an endodontist who specializes in working on patients with dental anxiety. These dentists are used to performing procedures on anxious patients, and they'll likely have excellent bedside manners. They can also offer you anti-anxiety medications which can make your root canal easier.
Your dentist may offer you an oral anxiolytic drug to take before your procedure, in order to soothe your nerves. You should follow your dentist's directions, but these medications are often taken 30 minutes to an hour before your procedure. You can also ask about receiving nitrous oxide during your procedure. Often called "laughing gas," nitrous oxide is an inhaled gas that will make you feel calm and unworried during your root canal.
Root canals are nobody's idea of a good time, but they don't have to be traumatic. These three simple tips can help relieve some of your dental anxieties so you can have the best root canal possible, without worry. For more information, contact a professional like Dodson Endodontics.