Dental anxiety is a serious medical issue that affects about 20 percent of people in the U.S. This often results in the person finding every excuse in the world to avoid showing up for dentist appointments. With time, people suffering from dental anxiety end up developing severe complications.
Fortunately, for those dealing with dental phobia, many things can be done to help make them more comfortable at the dentist's clinic. Here are five things that can be done to manage this phobia.
Peer encouragement can help to keep patients that have dental phobias calm at the dentist's office. It could be a family member, a close friend or workout buddy. Patients should merely find someone they know well that can help ease their anxiety while at the appointment.
The unfamiliar machines and tools found in a dental clinic can make anyone nervous. Patients who find the sounds these machines make bothersome should look for distractions when at the clinic. Watch the television if there is one or listen to some songs with a pair of headphones.
There are a lot of different breathing exercising and relaxation techniques that can be used to relax a patient. Patients are advised to try some of these when feeling nervous at the dentist's clinic. Taking a few minutes to meditate goes a long way when it comes to keeping nervous feelings away.
To practice deep breathing, patients only need to close their eyes and take deep controlled breaths. Doing this helps to lower the person's blood pressure, relax muscles, and slow down his/her heartbeat. There are many Apps and audio tracks that can aid and assist in learning these techniques.
One of the more common reasons why people feel anxious at the dentist is due to the feeling of not being in control of what all is going on. Patients can keep a sense of control during their dental sessions by communicating their fears to the dentist and asking questions about each procedure before it begins. That gives the patient a clear idea of what to expect and that helps to alleviate any fears.
When a dentist is aware of a patient's dental phobia, he/she will recommend the proper treatments to address it. The dentist can also come up with a safe word for the patient to use whenever he/she feels overwhelmed.
There are medical solutions for dental phobia. Oral sedation is effectively used to keep patients calm and relaxed before and during treatments. With oral sedation, the patient gets to relax without having to deal with negative emotions.
The use of nitrous oxide is even more popular when it comes to sedation dentistry. This gas is delivered via a gas mask and helps to keep patients relaxed. Nitrous oxide is a fast-acting gas, and its effect is felt within minutes of it being administered to a patient. The gas wears off just as quickly, and patients are often allowed to drive home after being sedated with nitrous oxide.
Want to learn more about combating dental phobias? Schedule a consultation with one of our dentists today. We have many years of experience in aiding patients in fighting their aversion, and no one should feel embarrassed about having these fears.