Coping with fear of the dentist while having a root canal procedure

Dentist Blog

Being afraid of the dentist is not at all uncommon. Dental phobia is something that affects a large percentage of the population. Many feel a vague discomfort when thinking about the dentist, while some are so afraid that they avoid going to the dentist at every cost. One common procedure that in particular seems to terrify the people suffering from dentist phobia is the root canal treatment. It's an important procedure to go through if it's needed, as it can save your tooth and make your overall oral health better. If you're facing a root canal while suffering from dentist phobia, there are a few things you can think about.

Curing the pain

Knowing that the procedure is perfectly safe rarely helps people overcome their phobias, as the nature of phobias is that they're often irrational. However, the pain you feel from the infected root should be far worse than the pain caused by the procedure. If you manage to get yourself to the dentist to have a root canal procedure done, there should be some comfort in knowing that your pain will soon be over. Afterwards, you can take pride in the fact that you succeeded, as well as in the fact that you now have healthier teeth than you did before.

Choose the right dentist

Choosing the right dentist for the procedure is of major importance. As you are already feeling uncomfortable and scared, it won't get better by having a dentist that you feel uncomfortable with. If you already have a dentist that you know, this dentist is probably the best option for you. The most important thing for you is to be able to communicate your fear without being scared that the dentist won't take you seriously. There are probably no dentists that would ridicule a scared patient for being scared, but knowing your dentist can help minimise your concerns about this. If you haven't been to the dentist in a long time, you could look into the option of dentists who are specialised in handling patients who are afraid of the dentist. If you are terribly afraid and can't find one of these dentists in your area, it might be worth it to travel for a bit to see one. Whatever makes you feel most comfortable is the right option.

Coping techniques

Finally, there are a number of coping techniques that can help you get through your root canal procedure. As it is fairly long, you'll need something to distract you from it. Bring your headphones along and listen to music or a podcast. Practice breathing techniques, and ask your dentist beforehand if you can take a short break if the fear gets too overwhelming. There is no reason for panic, and making you feel safe is the most important thing.

For more information, take the time to sit down with a dentist and explain your fears. They can  help come up with a plan to handle your fear while still making sure you get the treatment you need. 


26 October 2015

Teeth And Tears: Dental Dramas Of A School Nurse

I have worked as a school nurse for decades. Children come to me with all sorts of scrapes and bumps and bruises. Black eyes from playing football, sprained wrists from falling off the monkey bars and stomachaches from too many sweets are common complaints. However, the issue that seems to cause the greatest angst is tooth problems. Sometimes a child will have a second tooth knocked out when playing sport and parents arrive in tears. At other times, children come to my office crying because their friends are teasing them about teeth that are discoloured or stick out. I take an active interest in the latest dental news so that I can give parents and children comfort and advice. I have included some of my collected wisdom on these pages. Perhaps this information can help you understand some options when faced with a dental problem. Thank you for reading.