The last several weeks in October seem to be high season for those who love all things scary, including horror movies, gory Halloween costumes and the like. But very few people seem to use the season to embrace their fears of real-world situations. If the prospect of getting a root canal has you quaking in your boots more than a trip to the store to buy your Halloween costume, let’s address several common fears about them, so you can take that dental procedure out of your personal mental category of “spooky.”
Fear #1: My root canal treatment will be painful.
Fact: The tools and techniques that endodontists currently use to work with patients minimize pain and maximize the chances that he or she will be able to save your natural tooth. The discomfort you might experience during a root canal is similar to what you might experience if you were having a tooth filled. For many patients, a root canal actually relieves the pain they’ve been experiencing due to an injured or infected tooth.
Fear #2: My root canal treatment will involve frightening procedures or loud noises.
Fact: One fear common to many types of dental anxiety is undergoing a treatment involving complex, unfamiliar activities or which involves loud noises. Your endodontist can explain how he or she will perform the root canal, and is able to offer an array of remedies to keep you calm and comfortable during the procedure.
Fear #3: My root canal treatment won’t last, so why bother?
Fact: Some patients hesitate to get a root canal based on the faulty belief that they’re rarely successful, and wonder if they should just move directly to getting the tooth extracted. The data on root canals show that they preserve the natural tooth 95 percent of the time, so it is definitely a procedure worth considering!
“There are a lot of situations in life that require caution and heeding one’s fears, but root canals simply aren’t one of them,” says Dr. Jacqueline S. Allen, who practices with the Phoenix Endodontic Group. “Your endodontist can help you overcome your fears related to this important dental procedure.”