How many times have we faced little children who struggle when it comes to visiting your local dentists? Well, children are one thing; we also have adults who get this anxiety of visiting the local dentist just because their fear of getting a tooth removed skyrockets and makes their worries increase manifolds. It can be anyone, maybe your own kid, a close family member, a colleague, a friend, your wife, or just about anyone who has weird dental anxiety.
Now one may call it just a mere nervousness that can easily be shaken off, but that is not the case with everyone now, is it? Dental anxiety is a thing that requires proper treatment.
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Do you know that almost 20% of the average American adult fears visiting their local dentist just because they get the anxiety about their appointment with one? As a dental specialist, it is our duty to ensure our patients may feel very much relaxed when they visit us and be as comfortable as they will feel visiting a normal doctor or going to get an ice cream near home.
As a dentist, we believe positive experience is important, and here are a few things that can help patients deal with the burdening anxiety which can result in creating high stress.
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Quick Tactics to Manage Dental Anxiety When It Hits
Dental anxiety can arise just about any time right from the very moment a customer walks in.
Now, when that happens, as a medical practitioner, sit them down and ask them to do this.
Perform Deep Breathing Exercises – If a patient is feeling hyperventilated or getting a panic attack, it is best to ask them to relax and take deep breaths. Let them take a pause, you can tend to another patient in the meantime and while you’re away, ask them to take deep breaths and let the panic attack pass on. It’s an episode through which a patient has to go through and the best you can do right now is give them space and time to cope up with it.
Create a Distraction to Calm Their Nerves – One of the fears that trigger is usually when the patient is about to get a teeth job done. At times like such, a distraction will help the patient to avoid getting his or her mind stuck on the sharp tools going into his/her mouth. A good strategy is to place a television set inside the operating theatre so your patient continues to stay distracted. While watching their favorite shows, their attention span might not deviate.
Give them a Dose of Laughing Gas – Lastly, if nothing is working on patients than your ultimate tool is nothing more but giving them a dose of laughing gas to calm their nerves down. It is a common practice that is mostly followed by many dentists around the world and it’s perfectly safe as well. Give them a small dose of laughing gas so they get woozy in the head, and voila! They will feel very much relaxed, obey your orders, and help you perform tooth treatments.
Just to keep a safety precaution, many dentists ask their patients to perform hand signs when they feel like anxiety is going to hit them during the dental surgery process. Here, they are asked to clench their hands into a fist sign to show that they are about to get an episode or their anxiety is peaking, so the dentist can stop the process and let the patient recover from it.
What is Dental Phobia?
Dental phobia is a condition where the person develops a fear for dentistry just because he or she had a bad dental experience in the past. The memory is so bad sometimes that it doesn’t leave and every time a person visits a dentist, the phobia kicks in making the person lose his/her capability to control his/her emotions and feelings. While normal dental anxiety is treated using deep breathing and music therapies, dental phobia is a bit severe case where dentists must take precautionary measures. To perform a safe dental treatment, they give the patient a mild sedation or anesthesia so the patient can go into a relaxed state.
A Clarity in Developing an Understanding about Dental Anxiety
We all have someone who has this fear of visiting a dental clinic. And one of the common reasons why they do not prefer to visit a dentist is because of their dental anxiety. It is relevant that one should understand the cause behind the triggers; maybe it’s the lights or the environment, maybe it’s the sharp tools or their respective sounds, or a certain trauma such as severe dental implants. One way or the other, dental anxiety must be treated with subtle care. As a dentist, it is our job to make sure our customers are at peace when they visit us. Let us help them fix their teeth and at the same time, assure them that it is all going to be okay!