Dental Anxiety |5 min read

Anxious About Root Canals? Discover Our Proven Relaxation Techniques!

Nervous woman in a dentist’s chair about to receive a root canal treatment

So, Dr. My LeeThis link leads to Doctor’s page suggested you need a root canal to save your tooth?

Now, you can’t stop thinking about needing the treatment and what excuse you can use to cancel your next appointment at 16th Avenue DentalThis link leads to Home page.

Instead of canceling that appointment, you can receive the necessary treatment despite root canal anxiety.

We’ve discovered a few tips from our extensive experience dealing with root canals and anxious patients.

Top six ways to relieve root canal anxiety

Hopefully, you find one or more of these techniques useful in easing your fears.

And we want you to know if you have any questions, contact us anytime.

Educate yourself

A root canalThis link leads to Root Canal page procedure might not be what you think it is.

Learn more about what happens during the process and the steps a dentist takes to ease the pain and make you comfortable at your appointment.

You might discover a root canal isn’t that bad after all.

While you want to conduct further research, you should know that it’s typically a two-step process consisting of two visits.

The first step of the process is removing the infected tooth pulp, which we’ll give you a local anesthetic before completing the treatment.

During this time, our dentist will disinfect the inside of your tooth, fill the space with a dental-grade substance for strength, and possibly place a temporary filling.

You’ll receive your permanent crown at the following visit to protect the tooth from reinfection.

Don’t forget to look into the recovery process so you know what to expect afterward!

Look to the future

If you’d rather do anything besides get a root canal, like walking on hot coals barefoot, take a moment to think about the benefits of the treatment.

You won’t have to suffer any more pain from the infection.

Your gums won’t be tender and sore anymore.

You’ll also enjoy hot and cold foods and beverages without wincing every time.

Ultimately, the positives of a root canal outweigh any negatives.

Practice self-care and pampering

Take a little time for yourself, as much as you can, to calm those racing thoughts.

It could be as simple as taking a long hot bath while reading your favorite book.

Or, you could spend some time exercising each day to boost your endorphins and take away some stress.

Maybe you could book a massage.

And it wouldn’t hurt to contact a friend about your concerns. Perhaps they’ve had a root canal and can calm you with their positive experience.

Also, plan to pamper yourself during your recovery process

We advise patients to take it easy after a root canal and not return to work the same day.

However, most patients can return to work and resume their usual activities—besides chewing hard foods—until we give them the okay the next day.

You made it through the most difficult part of the process, getting the root canal done.

Give yourself a little break and some credit. Reward yourself with some more pampering and me time.

This could be a day to binge-watch your favorite series on Netflix and snack on soft foods.

Some swelling and discomfort may occur after your root canal. Our dentist will let you know what you can take to minimize this.

Try meditation, visualization, and relaxation techniques

Try deep breathing or meditation when you think about the procedure to take your mind off the stress.

This practice will combat the fight or flight feeling you have whenever you’re anxious because your heart rate slows, the muscles in your digestive tract relax, and your blood pressure decreases when you take deep breaths.

For some people, you can focus on now rather than worrying about the future, which ultimately helps you to feel more relaxed.

Meditation works for anxiety in several ways, including:

  • Reducing negative thoughts and slowing racing thoughts
  • Triggering parts of your brain that control worry
  • Giving you the ability to escape from your worries
  • Being able to focus on stressful thoughts comfortably

With visualization, you picture events in the future as if they were true.

For root canal anxiety, you’d imagine you were in Dr. My Lee’s office, obtaining a root canal.

You’re calm and relaxed. The procedure is going swimmingly.

You don’t feel any pain.

Once it’s over, you return to your home, still not in any significant pain.

Find the right endodontic specialist

Smiling older gentleman in a dentist's chair after a root canal.

You’ll feel much calmer when the dentist performing the root canal is someone you can feel comfortable with and trust.

Take the time to research your options based on their experience.

Look at reviews and get referrals from people you know who’ve had root canals in the past.

For some people, hearing the phrase “root canal” triggers a panic attack. If you’re one of those people, these root canal anxiety management tips could help you conquer your anxiety and save that tooth!

Besides these tips, Dr. Lee and the rest of the team at 16th Avenue Dental urge you to ask us questions. We may be able to ease your mind and put some of those worries to rest before your appointment.


We’re located in northwest Calgary and serve the following areas: Altadore, Sunnyside, Alyth, Haysboro, Hillhurst, and Mont Royal.

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *