What Can Dentists do For Those with Dental Anxiety?

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For people who suffer from dental anxiety, going to the dentist for a check-up or treatment can be a particularly daunting experience.

In recent years, dentists have been introducing anxiety busting techniques for before, during and after dental treatments for their patients.

dentists helping patients with dental anxiety

From the moment that the patient steps through the door of the surgery, a welcoming environment aids in the process of reducing patient anxiety. Soft, calming music, open space and certain scents assist patients in feeling less worried. In addition to this, some dental surgeries have been introducing new features to their receptions. Such as, relaxation rooms, massage chairs and offering pampering treatments such as manicures, reflexology and massages in an attempt to create a salon-like environment for patients. Maybe going to the dentist isn’t so bad after all!

While a welcoming and relaxing reception environment can aid in relaxing patients prior to their appointment, it is possible for dentists to employ techniques that will help patients to feel more relaxed during their dental treatment.
Some popular methods used by dentists to help relax patients are hypnotherapy and guided meditation. Hypnotherapy and guided meditation are non-invasive methods of relaxation allowing the patient to enter into a state of mind in which they feel relaxed and willing to let the dentist perform treatment. The more relaxed the patient, the more able the dentist is to carry out the necessary procedures quickly and with minimal pain.

dentists helping patients with dental anxiety

Some dental practices offer Gentle dentistry.

This is an approach to dentistry that is minimally invasive and focuses on the patient feeling relaxed and comfortable throughout their entire treatment. The dentist will often take time to explain to the patient each step of the procedure before starting. Then, throughout the treatment, the dentist will reassure the patient and check that they are alright and allow the patient to have a break if they need to. In some surgeries that practice gentle dentistry, patients also have access to blankets, pillows and relaxing music.

Other methods that a dentist could suggest to a patient with dental anxiety may be the use of numbing gels to prevent the feeling of pain during procedures or using air abrasion technology, an alternative to dental drills, as this technique is less painful, less noisy and less intimidating, particularly to younger patients.

dentists helping patients with dental anxiety

It is crucial to remember that dentists have a duty of care and they are there to help you care for your teeth and gums.

Explaining to your dentist about any anxiety or concerns you may have prior to treatment will help them to help you.

If you or someone you know is suffering from dental anxiety, there are surgeries specifically for people who do struggle with going to the dentist. Check out our website where you can find one near you.

While a dentist may not be able to cure root cause of the phobia completely, they are able to assist in relieving the anxiety and make the fear of being in the dentist’s chair a thing of the past!

Author – Leigh McLintock
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