Are You Afraid of the Dentist?

teeth, dentist, root canalA new survey says that 80 percent of Americans are still afraid of the dentist. More than half say that being scared keeps them from going to the dentist at all.

If you're overdue for a cleaning, filling or a root canal, call your dentist today. After all, next week is Root Canal Awareness Week, starting March 29 through April 4.

Let me just tell you, I am very aware of root canals. I've had two in the last 10 months--read about my root canal here--and I have to go back for another one.


The first time I had a root canal, I was terrified. Going into my mouth with needles and digging out roots just didn't sound fun to me. I'm not going to lie. This one hurt, but not during the procedure. It hurt while it was healing. Now all is well, and the root is gone. I don't feel a thing.

The second time I had a root canal, I wasn't scared. But I was cranky on the day of the appointment. I'm not lying when I say that this root canal didn't hurt. The discomfort afterward was so minor that a Tylenol took care of it.

I'll go in for my third root canal just after my birthday on April 6. I'm not nervous. Really. I'm used to it now. It takes a few hours, then my teeth feel much, much better.

Here are 2 tips from the American Association of Endodontists (AAE) on easing your fears about the dentist's chair:

  1. Ask questions. Don't be afraid to have the doctor fully explain what needs to be done. Also, ask him for a play-by-play during the procedure if it eases your mind.
  2. Distract yourself. Block out noises from the dental instruments by listening to your iPod if you want to. Just let him about your plan.

Have you had a root canal? Was it that bad? Are you afraid of the dentist?


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