It is almost hard to believe that so many people still have anxiety over visiting the dentist, particularly when it is for any procedure other than a routine cleaning. While it may have been the case decades ago that certain dental problems required some discomfort to correct through dentistry, the majority of contemporary procedures are relatively painless to the point that most patients are surprised when they do not have to endure any pain during their time in the dentist’s chair. This is problematic, however, as there are still people who avoid dental care due to misconceptions regarding procedures that may be critical to their continued health.
A root canal is a perfect example, according to Sebastian Hirsch. The root canal has long held a place in popular culture as a procedure so painful that people began to adopt an inaccurate perception of the level of discomfort involved. The root canal procedure, which was never as painful as it had been made out to be, has benefited from advances in dental technology that allows the dentist to perform this procedure in a way that causes the patient very little discomfort, if there even is any discomfort at all. Perception, however, is everything, so it is important for dental professionals to correct these misconceptions so patients do not avoid seeking care when necessary.
Dental technology has advanced to such a degree that problems once requiring surgery can now be addressed through non-invasive procedures. For example, a patient — we will refer to him as Hugo — had receding gums that he left unaddressed for over decade due to an unwillingness to undergo a surgical procedure that involved grafts, sutures and a period of recovery. With advances in dental technology, Hugo is now able to have his receding gums addressed through a non-invasive procedure that does not require sutures or grafts, and he has no need to endure any recovery period.