Root canal treatments cause anxiety in the majority of Americans so it is important to take the proper steps to understand and address these concerns with your patients.
Even with the innovative advances in dental health technology, many people still fear specialized dental procedures such as root canal treatments. In fact, according to the American Academy of Endodontists, 70% of Americans fear having a root canal done. This means dentists and endodontists have a huge opportunity to educate patients and provide helpful insight to relieve anxiety and fear.
It is important to properly educate patients about root canal procedures because it will increase the percentage of people who seek and complete treatment and help them prevent further tooth damage and pain. In some instances, patients become so anxious about an upcoming root canal treatment that they may decide to postpone the procedure or cancel it completely. As a dentist or endodontist, there are many ways you can work with patients to assess their level of anxiety about a procedure and address their fears so they feel comfortable about the treatment.
Pause and Ask
When talking with patients about their dental health and necessary treatments, it is important to speak clearly and slowly so they can understand your message. Take time to pause during the conversation to allow them the opportunity to ask questions or simply process the information. Communicating in this ways allows for a two-way exchange of information so the patient knows they are valued and feels comfortable asking questions or expressing concerns.
When a patient does have a question or concern, take the time to actively listen to their comment. Try to identify the cause of their concern so you can respond effectively. Also, notice their body language as they speak. A patient may not always express their fears or anxieties about a treatment, but if they seem closed off or tense, you may need to ask if they have any concerns.
Focus on the Positive
When responding to a patient’s concerns or anxieties, keep your focus on the positive aspects of the procedure. Share stories of other patients who had similar fears and how their experiences turned out to be positive. Educate your patient on the different pain management strategies you offer and invite them to learn more if they still have questions. Ensure them that their comfort is your top priority.
Collaborate with a Specialist
If you have a patient who is overly anxious about a root canal treatment or who may require more specialized care, you can refer them to an endodontist. Endodontists are extensively trained to diagnose and treat root canals and specialize in the treatment of root canals using the latest technology and treatment practices. Once the treatment is completed, the endodontist will relay the patient’s records back to their general dentist for follow-up care. This way, the patient has peace of mind knowing they have an entire team of dental specialists collaborating on their care to ensure they have the best patient experience possible.
About Professional Endodontics
Professional Endodontics has been exceeding the standard of care in Wayne and Macomb counties for over 50 years. The team specializes with treating issues with the inside of the tooth and goes out of its way to provide a safe easy environment for patients. Each member of the practice is dedicated to providing excellence in patient care and values high-quality relationships with referring dentists and specialists. Each endodontist at Professional Endodontics has been individually chosen as Best Dentists. Thanks to contemporary advances in endodontics, Professional Endodontics is able to use innovative technology to treat and save teeth that have suffered damage to the soft tissue within the roots of the tooth.
Professional Endodontics now offers three state-of-the art facilities in Clinton Township, St. Clair Shores, and a fully renovated Southfield location in the Comercia Tower. All locations offer the latest in advanced dental deliver systems, microscopy, and digital radiography.