Alleviating patient anxiety surrounding root canal treatment could mean the retention of your patient’s natural dentition.
There is a stigma surrounding root canal treatment that carries along with it false anxieties about it being a painful and possibly dangerous experience. Not surprisingly, this stigma is mostly upheld and spread by people who have never undergone the treatment. Nevertheless, there is a stream of misinformation that claims the treatment is not only painful, but can lead to disease elsewhere in the body, such as cancer, stroke, etc.
These misconceptions have led many patients to prematurely opt for extraction and implantation when their natural tooth could still have been saved. It’s universally agreed upon that in any case where the natural tooth can be saved, it should be saved. This is a reason why partnering with an endodontist is beneficial for dental practices. Consulting an endodontist for a second opinion ensures the patient that the recommended treatment is the best option. However, to alleviate patient anxiety toward root canal treatment, the best method is to present the patient with relative, valid information to combat the myths.
Myth #1 – Root canal treatment causes severe pain
This is simply not true. The purpose of root canal treatment is to relieve pain. The myth that it is a painful procedure stems from root canal experiences from decades ago. With new anesthetics and technology, the treatment is hardly more taxing than having a filling put in. A recent study showed that people who have had the treatment in the last decade are six times more likely to describe it as “painless” than people who have never undergone the treatment.
Myth #2 – Root Canal Treatment Leads to Illness
This is a myth that has been debunked for decades, but due to poor fact-checking on the internet, it still captures an audience. There is no valid scientific evidence to prove that root canal treatment leads to cancer, stroke, or any other illness elsewhere in the body. The alternative treatment, extraction and dental implantation, permits a higher concentration of bacteria to enter the blood and, therefore, is a more dangerous path to choose.
Myth #3 – Dental Implantation is the Better Method
Though there have been significant technological advances in dental implants, there is still not an equivalent replacement for the natural tooth. In addition to this, the procedure of extracting and implanting a tooth is more expensive and much more painful.
Finally, it’s important that your patients understand and trust your recommendation. To accomplish this, speak slowly and avoid complicated technical terms when offering your recommended treatment plan. Pause every so often to allow them time to ask questions, and then be prepared to listen and answer in a clear and understanding manner. Focus on the positive aspects of the procedure, ensuring them that their comfort is your top priority. In cases where the patient is overly anxious, refer them to a specialist. Collaborating with an endodontist proves to your patients that their best interest is your only motive. Visit Professional Endodontics to find a compatible specialist to partner with, and help to end the stigma surrounding root canal treatment.
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 Comerica Tower. All locations offer the latest in advanced dental deliver systems, microscopy, and digital radiography.
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