Root canal treatment is often the best (or only) way to deal with an abscessed tooth that results from a tooth infection. This review discusses the role root canal treatment plays in treating an abscessed tooth and what you can expect throughout the diagnostic and treatment processes.An abscessed tooth can affect one’s ability to function…
How a Dentist Can Ease Anxiety About Root Canal Treatment
Many people think root canal treatment involves lots of pain, but it is a procedure performed to bring an end to some of the worse toothaches you can ever experience. Local anesthetics are used to numb the area being worked on during a root canal, so the patient does not feel much besides the dentist applying pressure to the tooth and vibrations from tools like dental drills.
A root canal might be recommended if you end up with an infected or severely damaged tooth. The damage can be caused by tooth decay or trauma to the face. Regardless of its cause, a root canal will probably be recommended if it opens up the pulp.
How a dentist can ease anxiety during root canal treatment
As we mentioned earlier, local anesthetics are used during root canals so the patient will not feel pain as the dentist extracts their tooth’s pulp. Unfortunately, that is not always enough to ease the fears of patients with dental anxiety.
Other things dentists can do to keep patients relaxed during root canals include:
1. Topical anesthetics
Some people fear injections, so any treatments that involve getting a shot of a local anesthetic can send them into panic mode. Dentists can help to address that fear by using topical anesthetics to numb areas that will be injected.
This prevents the patient from feeling pain as the injection breaches soft tissues in their mouth. All the patient feels is the content of the syringe making its way into their tissues. Dentists also use smaller needles for patients who are scared of injections.
2. Dental sedatives
Sedatives like nitrous oxide can be used to keep patients calm and relaxed during root canal therapy. Nitrous oxide is a fast-acting gas that takes effect within minutes, and side effects are rare. It makes patients feel happy, and they might even burst out laughing a few times while under its influence. That is where the commonly used term “laughing gas” comes from.
Oral sedatives might be prescribed for patients whose anxiety starts before they even get to the clinic. These drugs can be taken a few hours before the appointment to reduce anxiety.
3. Relaxation techniques
Dentists can also make the experience more pleasant for the patient by doing simple things like playing relaxing music while they work on the patient’s tooth. They can also come up with a signal that the patient can use at any time if they start to feel uncomfortable.
How patients can reduce anxiety before getting a root canal
Some of the simple things patients can do to help reduce anxiety before their root canal treatment include:
- Breathing exercises
- Visualization and meditation
- Arriving early for the appointment to avoid feeling rushed
Root canal therapy can save your tooth
Root canal treatments help to save badly damaged or infected teeth. Think you might need one? Call or visit our Palm Desert clinic to schedule a consultation with our dentist.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Root Canal Treatment in Palm Desert, CA.
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