Dental anxiety is very common and is described as the feeling of being nervous or afraid of going to the dentist. Common fears include fear of dental pain, loss of control, the clinical environment, and needle phobia.
1 in 10 of us have dental phobia so strong that we actually avoid making visits to the dentist.
Dentists are habitual of treating nervous patients and have a range of solutions for making the visit easier, including distraction techniques, the ‘dental wand’ for easier delivery of local anaesthetic, and light sedation.
Having regular routine check-ups is the easiest way to maintain excellent oral hygiene & reduce the need for more complex treatments.
Here are some tips to reduce Dental Fear and Anxiety:
TALK TO THE DENTIST – The Dentist isn’t a mind reader. Though it can be hard to talk about irrational fears with a stranger, the dentist can take extra precautions during visits if fears and anxiety are communicated.
MUSIC – Music acts as a relaxant and also drown out any fear-prouding noises. Listening to calming music throughout the appointment will help to reduce anxiety.
DISTRACTION– Taking a little vacation in your head by imagining that you’re on a beach or playing sports or anywhere else can also be an effective technique,if your imagination skills are strong enough.
AGREE ON A SIGNAL– Many people are afraid that the dentist will not know they are in significant pain during appointment and will carry on the procedure regardless. The best way to solve this problem is to agee on a ‘’STOP’’ hand signal with the dentist. Both parties can easily understand signals like raising the hand or tapping on the chair.
TAKE A MIRROR– Watching the procedure can help keep reality at the forefront of the mind.
SEDATION– If there is no other way to cope, nitrous oxide (laughing gas) can be inhaled through a facemask to help patients feel relaxed and remove anxiety.