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Tips To Treat Dental Anxiety


∗ For a lot of people, visiting a dentist is a very anxious experience. Dental anxiety can be quite overpowering resulting in some people skipping dental visits. ∗ Causes of dental anxiety can include: previous unpleasant experience at the dentist, perhaps as a child, prone to general anxiety disorders, fear of needles, and fear of pain. ∗ Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can overcome your dental anxiety.


Open Communication with Dentist

∗ Having a dentist who makes you feel comfortable and is committed to reducing your anxiety is important to alleviating your anxiety. ∗ Talk to your dentist about your nervousness and fears so that your dentist can help you alleviate your anxiety. ∗ A dentist can implement a treatment plan that addresses your fears such as using pain prevention techniques or having a signal you can give when you start to feel anxious during the treatment. ∗ You and your dentist can stop for a moment and relax before continuing. It will make you feel in more control during the treatment. Also, ask the dentist to explain the process of your particular treatment so you will not be in for any surprises. ∗ You will feel less anxious if you know what is happening and what is going to happen.


Preventative Pre-appointment Measures

∗ There are a number of things you can do to prepare for the appointment which will help to reduce your anxiety. ∗ For instance, schedule your dental appointment for early in the day. Try to get a good night’s sleep before appointment day. ∗ Ask a friend or family member to come with you for support. Stay away from caffeine and sugar.


Distraction ∗ Finding a way to distract yourself during the dental procedure is a good way to reduce stress. ∗ Some dentists have televisions on the ceiling that their patients can watch as they extend back in the dental chair. ∗ Also, there are dentists that provide headphones so you can listen to music. All are good distractions while your dentist is treating you.


Pain Control ∗ Fear of pain is one the key reasons why people are nervous and anxious about dental visits. Fortunately, advancements in dentistry have come a long way when it comes to pain control. ∗ Dentists now have various pain medications and techniques available to minimize pain. They can often eliminate the pain or greatly reduce pain. For instance, topical anesthetics are commonly used. ∗ Topical anesthetics are applied with a Q-tip to the area where a needle will be used. It numbs the area so the patient does not feel or feels it just a bit when the needle goes in to the tissue. ∗ Electronic anesthesia is another option which may be used as a substitute to injections of local anesthetic. With this option, the dentist puts electrodes on the cheeks and these electrodes transmit a numbing electrical current into the jaw.


Sedation Dentistry ∗ Sedation Dentistry is a popular choice which involves the patient receiving one of the various types of sedation techniques. Inhalation sedation or laughing gas is one option. This method involves inhaling Nitrous Oxide which makes you feel more relaxed. The effects wear off quickly once the gas is turned off. Nitrous oxide generally is used as a complement to other drugs and not to replace other drugs. ∗ IV (intravenous) sedation is another option that produces a level of sedation so deep that you may not remember much or nothing at all about your treatment. A tranquilizer is injected into a vein in arm or hand. You will be awake, but in a deeply relaxed state. IV sedation is also a good choice if you have to have extensive treatment. ∗ As you can see, there are many ways to alleviate your dental anxieties. Don’t feel embarrassed if you are nervous about going to the dentist because you are not alone. Many people have anxieties about going to the dentist. Discuss your anxiety with your dentist so you can work together to create the treatment plan that will help make your dental treatment more relaxing.


Tips To Treat Dental Anxiety