Taking the Fear Out of the Five "Scariest" Dental Procedures
Posted on 11/15/2015 by Brandon Cooley
|Going to the dentist is often an anxiety-filled experience for certain patients. Perhaps you haven't been to the dentist in a while and are afraid of what type of work you might need, or maybe you've had a bad experience at a different practice in the past. Additionally, certain procedures might be more fear-evoking that others.
Fortunately, most of the hype surrounding the "scariest" dental procedures is blown out of proportion, and they really aren't that bad. For this reason, we're working to take the fear out of some of the most dreaded dental experiences.
FillingsThe phrase "You have a cavity" is often enough to strike fear into the hearts of even the strongest of men. This small hole in your tooth was caused by plaque, but it is simple to treat. However, many people balk at the sight of the needle needed to numb the tooth before your filling can be treated. A good dentist will help to distract you during this portion of the procedure, and you should remind yourself that the needle will actually work to offset the pain. You should also bear in mind that failing to treat a cavity will only result in a larger hole and more damage.
Root CanalsRoot canals have a bad reputation for being incredibly painful procedures, but most patients experience minimal discomfort. While it is a long procedure, it can be crucial in saving your tooth. However, modern anesthesia has improved the root canal process, so they tend to be no more painful than having a cavity filled. If the thought of being cooped up in a dental chair for two hours is what is scariest to you, ask your dentist about breaking up the procedure into shorter and more manageable visits.
X-RaysYou may be wondering why anyone would be afraid of a dental X-ray. After all, there isn't any drilling or numbing involved; your dentist will simply be taking a picture of your teeth to look for problems. However, many people are worried about the level of radiation that they will be exposed to throughout this procedure, and others may panic to have the sensor placed in their mouth. If you experience either of these concerns, let your dentist know, as a topical anesthesia could help to control your gag reflex. You should also remember that the radiation that you get with a dental X-ray is minimal compared to the radiation you'll be naturally exposed to throughout the rest of your day.
Pulling a ToothJust the thought of pulling out a tooth may be enough to make you cringe, but if you are told that you need to have an extraction, you should consider the reason. Often that tooth is causing you pain and is beyond repair, and to maintain your dental health, it needs to come out. People that are afraid of blood or needles may have an especially hard time with the procedure, but the pain should be controlled using an anesthetic. If you have severe anxiety about the procedure, many dentists will recommend scheduling your appointment for right away in the morning before your anxiety can build throughout the day.
Dental ImplantsA dental implant will replace your missing tooth in the event of an extraction, and these restorations look so natural because they are fused directly into your jawbone. However, the surgery takes several hours and will involve cutting into the gums and placing the implant into the bone. Plus, the healing process is quite lengthy. However, anesthesia will be used to keep you comfortable and pain-free throughout the procedure and during the recovery time, and your end result will be a beautiful - and permanent - new smile.
Please contact us if you have any questions about your fear of the dentist.