Ever wondered what if a dentist can actually express out their thoughts on how to make an anxious patient feel calmer and more relaxed? Dental anxiety is not uncommon these days, in fact, it is estimated that about 30% of the worldwide population is afraid of visiting a dental clinic. A sympathetic dentist for anxiety patients can greatly affect the patient’s behavior during the treatment. Dental care at this clinic in Norwest will surely keep you comfortable and relieved while you are having your dental drill.
Causes of Dental Anxiety
Children, in general, are afraid of dentists because they have less knowledge as to what an actual clinic is supposed to be. Because of the things that they see in movies or television, where dentists are often portrayed as someone to be scared of, they tend to exhibit fear towards dentistry. With proper guidance and support from the dentist and the child’s parents or guardian, this fear will eventually fade away.
On a related note, dental anxiety among adults takes place because of their personal experiences. They probably had an unpleasant dental encounter in the past years and are now afraid to come across the same thing again.
- Fear of feeling pain. Pain is something that most of us are trying to avoid. Nobody wants to feel an aching sensation that could possibly last for days. Thankfully there are several options nowadays to lessen the induced pain on the patient like inhaling nitrous oxide or via IV sedation.
- Fear of needles. This a common fear not only among children but with adults as well. A lot of people are frightened of the idea of sticking a needle on their skin, what more if it is inserted inside the mouth.
- The fright of anesthetic side effects. Anesthesia can cause several side effects on the person it’s given to. Feeling dizzy, nauseous, and fainting are some of its common aftereffects. This is the reason why having a trusted companion going to a dental appointment is recommended.
- Feeling out of control. Not being able to move since you will be sitting in a dental chair and a dentist eagerly inspecting your open mouth could be a scary feeling for some people. Patients who are used to being in command would most likely exhibit this kind of fear.
- Feeling embarrassed. An entire dental procedure will keep the dentist working closely with the patient. The impact of feeling the skin of the dentist being too close to the anxious patient can be terrifying for them.
- Previous experience with an incompetent dentist. It is understandable if the patient feels unsafe given that they have gone through a dental trauma because of a medical professional’s negligence.
- General anxiety. The patient may feel panic and terror if they have general anxiety in the first place. People who have general anxiety tend to worry about a lot of things even though the fear has an irrelevant basis.
Dealing with Anxiety Patients
While we are all aware that medical professionals like dentists are here to help us, the occurrence of feeling afraid to have appointments with them still persists. Dentists have a way to help you cope up with dental fear. They can use methods that include anesthetics and nitrous oxide, however, it would still be better if you will be able to manage your anxiety on your own.
Here are some of the coping techniques that dentists wish to share with you:
- Get to know your dentist. Almost all dental clinics have their own website nowadays. There you will find their dentist’s name and specialties. Their customer’s reviews will also help in putting you at ease knowing that a well experienced professional will facilitate your dental treatment.
- Do not hesitate to ask questions. Dental assistants and personnel are always willing to guide and educate their patients. One of their most excellent services is providing information in a polite manner.
- Block other stimulants that can trigger your fear. The sound of the teeth grinder, the flashing lights of the equipment, or any unpleasant smell can make you nervous. If these things affect you, bring something that you can use such as earplugs or sleeping eyemasks.
- Find a dentist that is suitable for you. Go for a medical professional that can console you by simply initiating a comforting conversation. This will base on your personal preference, for example, you find older dentists to be more sympathetic compared to the younger ones.
- Think of happy thoughts. The best way for you to overcome your fear is if you keep positive thoughts in your head. Know that you are well taken care of and that your dentist will not cause you any intentional harm.
Managing Dental Anxiety
Sometimes, coping techniques are not enough to manage an anxious person. Dentists and other medical professionals use several medications and methods to reduce pain and anxiety.
- Nitrous oxide. This “laughing gas” is inhaled by the patients a few minutes before their operation. Nitrous oxide helps the patient stay relaxed, calm, and at ease during the whole procedure.
- IV sedation. The IV sedation method includes the injection of a sedative to the patient’s vein to help them loosen up. Major dental operations usually use this technique for extremely frightened patients.
- Numbing anesthetics. Patients who are afraid of feeling pain receive topical anesthetics that numb the treatment area and reduces the sensation of pain.
- General anesthesia. Patients with severe cases of anxiety are put to sleep with general anesthesia. Unlike IV sedation that keeps the patient awake, general anesthesia lets them fall unconscious during the treatment. This is mostly recommended for patients to can’t find a way to calm down.