Root Canal Treatment and Dental Phobia

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A relatively routine dental procedure that still invokes fear and dread is root canal surgery. The prospect of any kind of oral surgery isn’t a pleasant one, but that being said, the fact that root canals have been done for years with a great deal of success should provide some comfort to anyone facing the treatment. The nature of phobias however, is that they must be addressed by more than just the fact of a surgery’s safety, and unfortunately many phobics still don’t have their fears of root canal surgeries properly attended to.

What is root canal surgery?

It’s natural for teeth to suffer from some decay or damage throughout the course of a lifetime of use, what’s important is dealing with these issues as they present themselves rather than letting them fester and worsen, compromising more teeth. Damaged teeth can however become infected if left untreated, and this infection has the unfortunate ability to get into your blood stream and the affected tooth’s nerve, meaning that a root canal treatment is necessary to stop its spread.

A root canal procedure actually tries to save your tooth, but can only do so if said tooth’s nerve is still alive and intact. If the infection is allowed to progress it forms a painful abscess which forces your dentist to extract the tooth. A root canal is far more preferable, and is performed under the influence of an anaesthetic. The procedure is quite long winded in that it takes several visits to the dentist’s to complete the various stages, the first of which is the removal of any infected material. Your dentist then checks during your second visit for any further signs of infection, and if all is clear, he or she will apply a permanent filling. Unfortunately what happens after a root canal is that the removal of a tooth’s nerve leaves it weakened, and you might need a crown to strengthen it, which means additional visits to the dentist.

Root canal surgery and dental phobia

Dental phobias can contribute quite seriously to the need for root canals in that the surgery is only needed once tooth decay gets past a certain stage. The NHS recommends regular dental checkups to catch any developing tooth decay quickly, meaning that fewer extensive procedures like root canals are needed. However many dental phobics struggle with attending even the most basic of check-ups as your fear can be so restricting. If this is the case then it is important to take steps to address your phobia to avoid future pain and avoidable dental work.

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Guide to Dental Phobia