The overwhelming fear of dental appointments can be a common cause of anxiety. Many people visualize a drill-wielding man in a white coat just waiting to cause pain and remove teeth. The reality, however, is very different. The comfort, relaxation, and happiness of the patient are the primary focus of any good dental practice. The staff at the practice will do whatever they can to reduce anxiety, allay fears, and provide painless, quick treatments.
Recent technological advancements in dentistry have helped alleviate these anxieties.
Here is a list of some of the most common dental fears:
Fear of embarrassment about the condition of teeth.
Fear of gagging.
Fear of injections.
Fear of loss of control.
Fear of not becoming numb when injected with Local Anesthesia.
Fear of pain.
Fear of the dentist as a person.
Fear of the hand piece (or the drill).
How can one overcome dental anxiety?
Dental anxiety and fear can become completely overwhelming. It is estimated that as many as 35 million people do not visit the dental office at all because they are too afraid. Receiving regular dental check-ups and cleanings is incredibly important. Having regular routine check-ups is the easiest way to maintain excellent oral hygiene and reduce the need for more complex treatments.
Here are some tips to help reduce dental fear and anxiety:
Talk to us – We can't read minds. Though it can be hard to talk about irrational fears with a stranger, we can take extra precautions during visits if fears and anxiety are communicated.
Laughing Gas- at our office we have the option of providing our patient's with laughing gas or nitrous oxide sedation.
TV's on the ceiling in every operatory with Netflix, Disney Channel or even YouTube: at our office our patient's can watch tv to help distract them during dental treatment.
Bring a portable music player – Music acts as a relaxant and also drowns out any fear-producing noises. Listening to calming music throughout the appointment will help to reduce anxiety.
Agree on a signal – Many people are afraid that the dentist will not know they are in significant pain during the appointment and will continue with the procedure regardless. The best way to solve this problem is to agree on a “stop” hand signal. Both parties can easily understand signals like raising the hand or tapping on the chair.
Spray the throat – Throat sprays (for example, Vicks® Chloraseptic® Throat Spray) can actually control the gag reflex. Two or three sprays will usually keep the reflex under control for about an hour.
Take a mirror – Not being able to see what is happening can increase anxiety and make the imagination run wild. Watching the procedure can help keep reality at the forefront of the mind.
Oral Sedation – If there is no other way to cope, our dentists can provide patients with oral sedation. There are several types of sedation, but the general premise behind them is the same: the patient regains their faculties after treatment is complete.
Blankets - ask for a blanket or a neck pillow to help make you more comfortable in the chair.
Isolite Mouth-prop our office is equipped with Isolite Systems, which means no more rubber dams and clamps on your teeth. Ask us about this alternative and feel free to look at Isolite system on the internet for more information.
Digital Scanners- Our office has two different digital scanners CEREC and iTero to help with patient's that have a gag reflex with impressions. These technologies allow us to scan the teeth and eliminate the need for goopy impressions.
Ask about alternatives – Advances in technology mean there are alternatives. Discuss all the options with us and decide on and alternative that is effective and produces minimal anxiety.
If you have questions or concerns about how we can help you overcome anxiety and fear, please contact our office.