Sometimes patients feel anxious when their dentist or endodontist recommends root canal treatment. Sadly, over the years, root canal treatment has been maligned. The truth is that this treatment relieves pain while preserving natural teeth.
We hope this article about root canal anxiety relieves some of your concerns about having a root canal. Nothing here is intended to serve as a replacement for professional dental advice, and it is simply to help you make the best decisions for yourself and your family.
Five Ways to Overcome Root Canal Anxiety
Some of these techniques might help diminish the root canal anxiety you may feel. Different people find different strategies helpful.
Learn About Your Treatment Options
We find that patient’s who better understand the benefits of root canal treatment typically feel less anxious. In the past, people associated root canals with intense pain; however, modern anesthesia techniques have vastly reduced the likelihood of discomfort during the procedure.
The best antidote to anxiety about medical or dental treatment is to have a frank and honest conversation with your healthcare provider. For example, patients often feel assured and confident once they realize a skilled and experienced endodontist will perform their root canal treatment.
During this meeting, ask any questions about the procedure, typical recovery time, and any lifestyle changes required to maintain your oral health. We also have dental sedation options available with the goal of making our patients as comfortable as possible.
Conversations like this help you prepare and remove the mystery associated with treatment.
Focus on a Healthy Future
If you need a root canal, it is because at least one of your teeth is damaged, decayed or infected. Usually, a root canal is your alternative to extracting the tooth.
If you decide to undergo root canal treatment, your endodontist or general dentist opens it and thoroughly cleans and disinfects the inside of the tooth as well as the root system. Then the tooth is resealed and reinforced.
After a successful root canal treatment, you keep your natural tooth but without the pain and inflammation. Your smile looks and feels the same, and you don’t have to adapt to dental implants or dentures.
As you recover from the procedure, you may experience mild pain, sensitivity, or tenderness. This discomfort can be controlled with over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and tylenol. Most patients quickly return to their normal life while pampering their treated tooth for a few days.
Plan to Give Yourself Time to Heal
After any dental or medical procedure, it is beneficial to take a little time off to rest and recover. Ask your endodontist what to expect as recovery time may vary depending on your issues, your overall health, and the location of the affected tooth (or teeth).
Since your endodontist performs dozens of root canals each week, they may have a strong sense of what you may be able to expect.
In general, many people find it productive to plan their recovery entertainment. Instead of dwelling on anxious thoughts, consider making a playlist, downloading podcasts, or filling your Netflix queue with entertainment. As small as it sounds, giving yourself something to look forward to can be a welcome distraction. Prepare a comfortable space to relax as you recover, enjoying a good book, film, or podcast.
Stock up on foods suitable for your root canal recovery. Be sure to discuss this with your endodontist. Usually, soft, mild, smooth textured food is ideal as your teeth and gums recover. Some ideas include yogurt, smoothie bowls, cottage cheese, gazpacho, mashed potatoes, and other smooth foods.
Ask your endodontist about recommended pain medication and consider having some ready. When you know you will return home to a comfortable and healing environment, you may feel less anxious.
Trust Your Health to a Specialist
When you seek care from the right specialist, you can relax and feel less wary. An endodontist specializes in root canals and other related restorative treatments. Endodontists aim to save natural teeth whenever possible.
If you have friends or colleagues who had successful root canals, ask them who they saw. Also, consider asking your general dentist for a referral to a skilled endodontist.
Contact Apex Endodontics Today
If you live in the Colorado Springs area, consider asking your dentist for a referral to Apex Endodontics. We treat patients with individualized, customized care. Your teeth and root canal structures are complex, and experience counts when it comes to a successful root canal treatment.
Call us today to learn how to get a referral from your dentist or to schedule a consultation.