It's not uncommon to be afraid of the dentist. Many people find the idea of dentist visits alarming, and no procedure is more dreaded than the root canal. However, the fear surrounding root canals is unfounded and mostly based in myths and hearsay. Root canal therapy is no more painful or frightening than any other dental procedure. Here are four things you can do to make sure your root canal treatment is as easy as possible.

1. Choose an endodontist.

Endodontists specialize in the interior of your teeth, the pulp and nerves that lie beneath the enamel. If you need a root canal, you can trust your teeth to an endodontist's expertise. They perform many root canals each day, so they will be able to treat you quickly and effectively. If your dentist doesn't perform root canals, they can refer you to an endodontist that they trust.

2. Listen to music.

If you feel nervous, you're more likely to tense up and anticipate pain. This can make the whole procedure more arduous and less pleasant for you. Finding a way to relax is ideal, and music can help you do that. Bring a pair of earbuds and a music player, and listen to songs that you find soothing. Distracting yourself can make the time pass more quickly, and the sound of your music can block out the noises of the root canal procedure, which some people find upsetting.

3. Don't eat until the anesthesia wears off.

During your root canal therapy, you will be given local anesthesia in order to numb your tooth. After the procedure is over, you will probably experience some residual numbness for about an hour. Avoid eating until you regain feeling in your mouth so you don't accidentally hurt yourself. Biting your tongue or cheek is possible, and such an injury can lengthen your recovery time.

4. Chew on the unaffected side of your mouth.

While the root canal procedure itself should be painless, you may experience some discomfort and soreness once the anesthesia wears off. This should disappear within one or two days. Until your mouth heals, avoid chewing on the affected side of your mouth. You may also want to avoid hard foods that can irritate your jaw.

You deserve to get the dental treatment you need without anxiety or fear. Root canal treatment doesn't have to be scary or painful at all. When you follow these tips, your root canal will be a breeze.