Unwarranted Dental Fears – Part 1

Gentle dentistry in Harley Street beating dental phobia

It is a fact, no matter how sugar coated dentists try to make it, that many people are simply terrified of visiting a dentist. A few are lucky and get through life without visiting a dentist. However, for most, fear of going to the dentist often results in what would quite likely have been a simple small filling turning into either an extraction or root canal surgery.

Whilst dentists do generally now try to practise minimal invasive dentistry where only as much is done to the tooth as is absolutely necessary and everything will be done to preserve as much of the tooth as possible, as with most fears, dental fears are usually irrational and based on what ‘might’ happen rather than what will.

To help to counter this fear, we thought we would take a look at a few of the most common procedures which cause the most fear and address the facts about them here, starting with one of the most feared procedures which has almost passed into legend. – Root Canal Surgery.

Often cited as probably the worst pain that you can experience, this seems to have seeped into the urban myth book. No doubt this originally came from someone’s bad experience at a dentist, quite possibly some time ago when methods were much less sophisticated than they are now.

The reality is that a root canal should cause a person no more discomfort than a filling or extraction as the procedure is done using a local anaesthetic.

To reduce fear, it is usually best to be fully aware of the facts. Even though we may think that we don’t want to hear them, the truth does enable us to take on our fears directly. To explain what the procedure actually is. It simply involves removing any infected soft pulp material which is in the inner tooth. This usually becomes infected when the ‘shell’ has been broken, often when a simple filling would have sealed it effectively. Once the pulp becomes infected, it can lead to pain if not treated promptly. In fact, the pain often mentioned most likely comes from an abscess which is caused by the infection. If this is the case, then antibiotics are usually used to eliminate this before the procedure can take place.

To perform a root canal, the top of the tooth is opened and the soft pulp material removed thoroughly, the inside of the tooth will then be cleaned to rid it fully of any infections before being filled and a crown placed on to seal it. This tooth then in effect becomes a ‘dead’ tooth and can not decay. However, it is still important to clean around the tooth effectively otherwise gum problems can occur.

Hopefully, this simple explanation will help to calm your fears but if not, it can be helpful to discuss the matter further with our Harley Street dentist.

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