The Most Feared Dental Procedures Explained

No matter how utterly necessary the electric dental handpiece being used, people still tend to be wary when even just thinking about going to the dentist. That’s an unfair perception, all told, but you really can’t blame people. You’re built to fear that which you don’t understand as a survival mechanism. The truth is that—not only do many common dental procedures ultimately provide relief—they are necessary for enjoying life as a whole.

Here is a look at the most commonly feared dental procedures and what they’re all about:

Filling in

Teeth that aren’t cared for are prone to rot, and when exposed to impact or blunt damage, they can crack. When that happens, you go to the dentist for a filling. The funny thing is that people seem unnecessarily afraid of the procedure. This is the most common procedure, and it is painless. The first thing that a dentist will do is use both a cavity detecting dye as well as an x-ray to see the extent of the damage. If it’s superficial and on the top layers they use white composite materials to fill the breaks and cracks as well as provide a functional chewing surface. Again, it’s painless and gets rid of the cavities effectively.

Impacted Teeth

Impaction happens when teeth don’t have room to pop out in your gumline. This can result in the tooth being stuck. This tooth can then push on and apply pressure to other teeth. The pain comes when the offending tooth breaches the crown and dentin of another tooth and exposes the sensitive pulp underneath. Often, the procedure to extract an impacted tooth is surgical. While the thought of surgery might seem terrifying, it isn’t. The only thing you ever feel is the prick of the anaesthetic is injected. Other than that, the whole procedure is painless. Afterwards, there might be some soreness, but pain killers and other medicines deal with that effectively.

Root Canals

Woman receiving a root canal treatment

When decay is much deeper than superficial or has run its course for too long, then the “dreaded” root canal is in order. The truth is that the pain that people associate with root canals isn’t from the procedure to treat it but rather the pre-existing damage that has gone untreated. In this procedure, the tissue in the centre of the tooth is removed. There is generally no pain to be felt as you are anaesthetised long before any electric dental handpiece is used. The space is then cleaned and filled in before a crown is placed on top. The result is comfort and the ability to properly eat again.


Worst case scenarios in terms of tooth rot will eventually lead to extractions. Unlike impacted teeth, this procedure is relatively straightforward. Often, some cutting into the gums might be needed to loosen up the tooth, but anaesthetics again deal with that straight away.

Much of the fear associated with dental procedures are all in the mind. The pain associated with the most common procedures is often a result of the condition itself. The mindset to adopt when visiting a dentist is that you’re about to get relief from the pain.

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