Even with the use of advanced dental technology, root canal therapy is still associated with a stigma among dental patients. Many patients, when told that they need to have a root canal performed, become very anxious about the procedure itself. Sometimes they avoid it completely, which causes the eventual loss of the tooth. Instead, dentists are trying to inform patients about the realities of their root canal treatment, so that they can have a better, more pleasant experience during their procedure.
Here are some tips to have a relaxed, successful root canal during your next treatment at our Columbus dental office:
1. If you’re really that nervous, ask for sedation services such as sleep dentistry or an anti-anxiety prescription
There is no shame in admitting that you have some anxiety about the procedure. An orally administered or intravenously delivered medication can easily help you nap throughout the entire appointment. All you need is a friend or family member to drive you home afterward.
2. Bring something to help you feel comfortable
Whether it’s your iPod and headphones or a warm blanket from home, simple distractions can help put your mind at ease. Playing your favorite playlist during the procedure can help keep your mind off of your treatment.
3. Remember that root canals are something that your dentist performs on a daily basis, and nearly 25% of the population has had root canal treatment
That’s 1 out of 4 people that you know. Bad news is usually repeated more frequently than good news, so remember there are even more people out there not complaining about their previous root canal therapy than your uncle who had the world’s worst experience and won’t stop talking about it.
4. Take all of your antibiotics beforehand, but don’t put off your treatment
Depending on how bad your infection is, your dentist may prescribe antibiotic therapy to clear up any abscesses before the procedure. Sometimes patients think that this eliminates the infection completely and there is no need for the treatment. Other times the patients will only take a portion of their medicine until symptoms go away. Both of these examples can lead to drug resistance and recurrent infections that are difficult to treat.
5. If you’ve had previous problems with root canal therapy, consider seeing an endodontist to help alleviate your fears
Endodontic dentists have advanced specialty training focused solely on treating diseased dental nerves. Usually the most difficult root canal cases are referred to an endodontist for completion.