Methods to Help Patients Handle Dental Anxiety

Posted on: August 23, 2016

Methods to Help Patients Handle Dental Anxiety

Don’t fear the dental chair

The words of Franklin D. Roosevelt in their head, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself," fall on deaf ears for those who struggle with dental anxiety. Whether it is the appointment itself or the anticipation leading up to the appointment, dental anxiety can cause people to avoid the treatment they need and risk infections in their teeth.

Dealing with anxiety is not as easy as it sounds

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA, states that around 40 million adults in the U.S. have a form of anxiety. Much more common than people realize, anxiety can make everyday tasks complex. Therefore, people who have anxiety about the dentist may find difficulty attending an appointment.

Even though anxiety is treatable, telling someone with dental anxiety to “get over it” will only make it worse. However, there are tips and tricks to help someone deal with their dental anxiety and remain comfortable during the procedure. Mouthyhealthy.org offers a few solutions to help with dental anxiety. “Choose a time for your dental visit when you're less likely to be rushed or under pressure,” mouthhealthy.org explains.

Although this seems simple, it can help a patient mentally prepare for the appointment. Another way to help with anxiety is to go over the entire procedure with the dentist beforehand, mentioning the struggle with dental anxiety. The dental staff will do everything in their power to help the patient relax.

A method some people use to relieve anxiety during a cleaning is to play music through headphones. “If the sound of the drill bothers you, bring headphones so you can listen to your favorite music,” mouthhealthy.org explains. If none of these methods seem to help, a dentist may be able to consider sedation dentistry as an option.

Healthy methods to help relax patients

Sedation dentistry can help patients relax and stay calm during a procedure. This can involve the use of laughing gas or an oral sedative. In most scenarios, the patients will not be under or completely out of it, as some might fear. Instead, the patient will feel calm and relaxed during the procedure.

People may worry that the use of sedation will cause them to need to stay for a longer amount of time or put them to sleep. While this is true for patients who undergo a longer procedure or Following a procedure in which the patient was using an oral sedative or laughing gas, they will be able to go home shortly after the appointment. The patient will also not feel impaired with other body movements after.

While these sedation methods may not help as much with pain, they will help the patient relax for the experience. If you or a loved one is struggling with dental anxiety, do not hesitate to tell a dentist at Smiles By Julia. Our staff will go over all options to help make the appointment a comfortable and pleasant experience.

Smiles By Julia

At Smiles By Julia in Fort Lauderdale, FL, we will customize your treatment to match your needs and schedule. Our professional staff creates a calm atmosphere for you during the appointment and treatment process. If you have any questions or are unsure of what is causing the pain in your teeth, do not hesitate to call us.

We will answer any questions and make sure you get all of the necessary information. We can help prevent damage to your teeth and set you on track for a lifetime of pristine oral health. At Smiles By Julia, your experience with us and your dental health are our prime concern.


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