Fear of the dentist is common enough that as many as 20 percent of the United States population shares it. To make matters even worse, when a dental treatment like a root canal is mentioned, patients can couple their general anxiety with the added fear of being in pain. With the right approach, however, your fear and pain can be transformed into surprise at the relief and comfort you feel after the procedure.
How to Overcome Your Dental Fears
If you have a fear of the dentist, the natural inclination you might have is to avoid going for an office visit at all, unless it’s a dire emergency. This can lead to your pain and oral health becoming worse. Instead, there are a number of things you can do proactively to help address your dental fears.
1.Getting Treatment Can Help
It might sound counterintuitive, but getting the right dental treatment can actually help with your dental fears. Behind most fear of the dentist is the concern that you’re going to experience a great deal of pain, a fear of needles, not being numb enough or having someone close to your face. A treatment like root canal therapy, however, can actually relieve your pain. It’s designed to remove the diseased pulp, tissue and other material so the issues that can cause pain and infection are no longer there. In fact, a root canal may feel similar to getting a filling.
2. Choose the Right Dentist
Today’s dentists often understand and acknowledge that a portion of their patients will come to them with a fear of the dentist. This is typically true whether you are seeing a general dentist or a specialist like an Endodontist. Seek out a dentist who uses advanced techniques that are designed solely to make you feel more comfortable. These can range from administering advanced anesthesia, to simple comforts that put you at ease during your visit. If you are worried that dental anesthesia never works for you, Dr. Webb would like to assure you that she uses advanced techniques that will ensure numbness before the procedure and she will make sure you are confident you are numb before starting any treatment on your tooth.
In our office we are focused on our patients’ comfort, and offer anxiety relief in the form of a pill that is prescribed before treatment, and nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas) that is administered in the office during treatment, if you choose. Dr.Webb’s unique advanced techniques for administering anesthesia put our patients at ease, and we also provide darkening glasses, music and blankets during treatment. With the use of cryotherapy, Dr. Webb has even eliminated the need to use topical anesthesia (numbing gel), which most patients agree tastes terrible! One of the most common compliments that Dr. Webb receives is that she “gives great shots!”
Patient education can also be a key factor in addressing any dental fears you have. The more you know what to expect, why a particular procedure is recommended for your situation and the benefits you can experience from it, the more comfortable and less fearful you will feel. However, Dr. Webb realizes that some patients may not want to hear all of the details about a dental procedure because let’s face it, some of these things sound very scary when described in detail!
At Siesta Key Root Canal Specialists, we feel that our main job is to be your cheerleader and give you encouragement and love throughout your procedure. No one wants to be a bad patient! We know that and will never make you feel like a wimp or like your fears are not justified. We will simply be there for you to talk you through each step and it is our greatest pleasure at the end of a procedure when a patient exclaims, “That wasn’t bad at all!”
3. Speak Up Early
As noted above, being fearful of the dentist is very common and is nothing to be embarrassed about. Whether you’ve had a bad experience previously, you struggle with overall anxiety in general or you’re fearful of what could potentially happen, the right dentist can help address those fears. Speaking up immediately regarding your dental fears, before your dental appointment, allows your dentist time to prescribe oral medications for anxiety if needed, or just to partner with you so you have the most comfortable experience possible while still protecting your oral health.
Siesta Key Root Canal Specialists is led by Dr. Carla Webb, a board-certified endodontist who has been practicing Endodontics since 2003. She and the staff at Siesta Key Root Canal Specialists focus on providing you with the personal and quality treatment you expect with precision and your comfort in mind. You can expect a compassionate experience that offers all of the key points mentioned above. Learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact the office today.