Dental anxiety is a real thing. A patient may have had a negative experience as a child or heard a bad story from a relative or a friend. It can make even the thought of sitting in the dentist chair make them shut down.
This can be a very dangerous thing since regular visits are very important in terms of keeping one’s oral health because even diligent toothbrushing and flossing can miss spots and that can leave the window open for gum disease- which can rapidly worsen if left unchecked.
The question is – How can one avoid dental anxiety
While there are some who may be hesitant to go the medicinal route – but this is something that can wind up being a game-changer in terms of getting some patients to embrace coming to the dentist.
There are several ways that one can do this. First, they can take a pill to take the edge off before the exam. They would be conscious during it, but anxiety would not be an issue.
Lastly, there’s the option for twilight sedation. The patient will be asleep for the duration of the procedure – which could be beneficial if the dentist needed to work on more than one area and could maximize their productivity.
While these are helpful for many, there are some things to consider. The cost may not be feasible, since dental insurance does not cover it – which means it would cost more. Patients also would need someone to transport them home, regardless of whichever sedation option they chose, since they would find their reflexes dulled. That might not be an option.
This option is geared towards the people who would prefer not to be medicated. Instead, they can turn inward in their own mind and aim to find a sense of peace.
Breathing exercises can really help – just focusing on taking deep breaths and not shallow ones, since the second can actually produce more anxiety. Soothing music in the background may make things calmer for the patient.
This option may not be plainly obvious at first, but it could very well be the most effective of them all. The one that should be listening is the dentist. They should convey that they understand that the patient had valid fears and should not attempt to just brush past them and start doing dental work. That will just make matters worse and can instill an even stronger fear of going to the dentist in the future, which can be very detrimental to the patient’s oral health.
Yes, things can get busy in a dentist’s office and they are human too, but over the course of the visit, the patient should feel valued and not as merely another statistic. Knowing that they have a compassionate ear listening to them can make a world of difference – and also possibly encourage them to stay with a twice-yearly routine.
Dr. Dorothy Anasinski will gladly speak with her patients and explain things in a way that will put them at ease. She also has Polish-speaking staff at the Dental Specialists of Niles to aid in getting past any language barrier. Call them with any questions at 847-685-6686.