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Getting to the Root of Dental Phobia
Date:3/30/2009

ignificant experience with anxious patients," said Dr. Rossman. "Given that poor oral health and tooth loss are linked to many serious medical conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, we are committed to helping people overcome their fears to ensure they prioritize necessary dental care."

The Importance of Specialist Dental Care

There are specialists in dentistry just as there are specialists in medicine (such as cardiologists, neurologists, oncologists, etc.). To ensure optimal care, the AAE recommends patients see a specialist who has advanced training for certain types of complex dental treatment, such as an endodontist for root canals.

Endodontists are specially trained to perform root canals and typically see more difficult cases. Because they do the procedure every day, they have significant experience in helping patients work through their anxiety. They also have access to superior technology, such as state-of-the-art operating microscopes, which can help make the procedure more comfortable.

Erich Nitzsche, 48, of North Reading, Mass., had been nervous and apprehensive of the dentist ever since he had an uncommonly bad experience as a child, and he was particularly anxious when he was told he needed a root canal. Erich spoke with his dentist, sought out and was referred to an endodontic specialist to perform the procedure and realized afterward his fears were unfounded.

"I felt more confident about having a root canal performed by a specialist," said Nitzsche. "My endodontist helped to ease my anxiety by explaining the procedure in simple terms so I knew what to expect every step of the way. The actual procedure was painless, which totally eliminated my anxiety."

Tips for Stress-Free Dental Visits

Dental professionals and patients should work together to ensure the patient is comfortable and prepared for each visit. While ther
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SOURCE American Association of Endodontists
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