Overcoming Dental Anxiety For A Relaxing Dentist’s Appointment

It’s projected that as many as 75% of US adults experience some degree of dental fear. Approximately 5 to 10% of U.S. adults are considered to experience dental phobia; this is, they are so fearful of undergoing dental treatment they avoid dental care in any way costs. Many dentally fearful folks will seek dental care when they have a dental emergency, such as a toothache or dental abscess. Individuals that are very fearful of dental care often experience a “cycle of prevention” where they avoid dental care due to fear until they undergo a dental emergency requiring invasive treatment, which may fortify their fear of dentistry.

Girls have a tendency to report greater dental fear than men, and younger individuals tend to report becoming dentally fearful than older folks. People are inclined to report being fearful of invasive procedures, such as oral hygiene, then they are far less invasive treatment, such as specialist dental cleanings, or prophylaxis.

It has been discovered that there are two chief causes of dental anxiety in patients: Direct Experiences and Indirect Experiences.

Direct experience is the most common way people develop dental fears. We have found that a vast majority of individuals report that their dental panic started after a traumatic, difficult, or painful dental experience. These reasons, of course, aren’t the only reasons for dental anxiety. Another contributing factor is simply the perceived fashion of the dentists as “impersonal”, “uncaring”, “Uninterested” or “chilly” whereas dentists that are perceived as caring and warm really counterbalance the fear caused by painful procedures.

Indirect experience may include vicarious learning, mass media, stimulus generalization, helplessness and perceived lack of management. Learning one can develop stress by simply hearing other people’s painful and traumatic experiences at their dentist’s office. Mass media has a negative portrayal of dentistry in children’s and television shows animations.

Stimulus generalization is another indirect encounter inducing a patient to develop fear as a result of previous traumatic experience in a non-dental context. A significant contributor to stimulus generalization is a patient experience at hospitals or general practice physicians that wear coats and have antiseptic smells throughout their clinics. A manner that a lot of dental professionals are combating this perception is by wearing clothing that isn’t so “laboratory coat-ish”.

Helplessness and perceived lack of management happen when a person believes that they don’t have any means of affecting a negative event. Studies have shown that whereas a feeling of having control reduces fear greatly perception of lack of control leads to fear. For example, a dentist that informs a patient to raise their hands in a procedure to signal pain so the dentist or hygienist can discontinue during the process will generate a not as fearful and anxious patient thus creating a more agreeable overall experience influencing the individual to continue to return for additional therapy.

A couple of excellent techniques that modern-day dentists at Dr. Mark Santana Dentistry are executing to reduce anxiety and stress are comfy “massage” chairs, utilizing the”tell, show, do” technique, music through headphones, enabling their patients to bring in their particular i-pods and even televisions at each operatory allowing the individual to choose what they’d love to watch during their process. Each one of these techniques offers the individual perception of welcoming and warmness causing the patient to feel more”at home” and relaxed through a potentially stressful process.

One of our most successful clients really provides an in-house masseuse which will relax the individual by providing a short massage before any dental treatment. While this technique has not been embraced by many dental clinics it’s proven, for this specific doctor, to be a rather powerful way of reducing patient stress and anxiety. The supply of an in-house masseuse provides something for the patient to talk about as soon as they leave the dentist’s office. A memorable experience with a personal masseuse at their dental professionals’ office supplies a means for referrals to family and friends.

The “tell, show, do” procedure is widely adopted by the majority of practitioners where the dentist, hygienist, or helper will first clarify the process for a patient, show a video or demonstrate with versions how the process will be performed, and then continue on to actually perform the procedure. The action of notifying your patients precisely what is involved with a process gives the background knowledge to the patient to have the ability to feel comfortable with what is going to occur during their visit. This technique is especially important in the business of dentistry since each of the procedures is inside the mouth and are not readily visible to the patient.

Treating Phobias

Acute procedural anxiety includes an excessive fear of surgical, dental or medical processes which leads to acute distress or issues with completing mandatory procedures. Angst might be experienced by individuals in anticipation of or during a procedure utilized for therapy, diagnosis, and screening. Avoidance of processes because of acute procedural stress may have health results. Interventions for 3 phobias of Health processes are discussed here:


Blood-injection-injury phobia: It is characterized by the phobia of receiving an injection, seeing blood, or of additional invasive clinical treatments. It is suggested to apply a mixture of exposure and muscle tensing therapy, tension, as the first-line remedy for fear.

Applied tension: It is used to counteract a vasovagal fainting response related to the phobia of blood. Applied tension includes repeatedly tensing the body muscles to improve blood pressure and keep from fainting while at the existence of a stimulus.

Additional interventions: As there’s a renowned fainting history and also an individual has not discovered this applied tension method, a person ought to lie down within the process, turn away from the site of blood vessels, and sit slowly just following sensations of fainting and nausea resolving.

Cognitive restructuring: This includes the modification and identification of excessively negative cognitions with respect to the feared stimulus.

Systematic desensitization: Including imaginal exposure to the phobic stimulus paired with muscle relaxation so as to handle the anxiety.

Coping strategies: Strategies utilized in treating dental anxiety involve applied relaxation and relaxation. The more common kind of comfort method includes progressive muscle relaxation where individuals are directed to clinic tensing (five seconds) and relaxing (ten minutes ) different muscle groups beginning from the tip of the head down to the toes. The workout takes about fifteen minutes and can be practiced two times per day for one or two weeks. Then, the pressure portion will be removed and the comfort of muscle groups will soon be practiced that requires five to seven minutes. Conditioned comfort then followed it where a person learns to relax the entire body at one time on cue utilizing the self-instruction ‘relax,’ that further decreases relaxation to thirty minutes.

Hypnotherapy: Suggestions to someone, as in a stage of hypnosis, that she or he’ll no longer be fearful of the dental situation

Medicine: For those people who have dental phobia where medicinal treatment is indicated, it’s suggested to try nitrous oxide sedation over benzodiazepines or general anesthesia.

Nitrous oxide: In spite of the paucity of efficacy information, oxygen/nitrous oxide involves the sedation procedure of choice within the dental clinic.

Additional medications: Empirical support for the usage of general anesthesia as well as benzodiazepines in dental phobia will be more limited.

General anesthesia usually is restricted to the most serious instances of dental phobia and possesses the benefit of permitting major dental work to become finished within a single treatment.

Benzodiazepines are used for anxiolytic and sedation effects while undergoing dental treatment, nevertheless possess disadvantages compared with additional treatments. Benzodiazepines cause psychomotor and sedating impairment that might last for hours, including nitrous oxide. The medical effects of benzodiazepines will continue just for that remedy situation, as the effects of exposure treatment may last for months or years.

How To Relax

Some people today hate the dentist to the stage that averting regular dental care is that their MO. The fact is, while some people don’t have any fears regarding seeing a dentist others have panic attacks thinking about it. In case you’ve been neglecting your maintenance for a long time, you need to get”a couple” and come up with a way to reach the dentist. Those who neglect their dental hygiene are more likely to develop dental pain, thus negating the reason for avoiding the dentist in the first place.

Fortunately, There Are Lots of Ways to Make Sure That Your next dental appointment is as pain-free as you can:

Communication: Every successful relationship is based on communication, which goes for a dentist/patient coupling. If you have any anxiety about seeing your dentist feel free to give a call to the office and have a dialogue. Simply talking out your anxieties can work wonders.

Zone Outside: When you have the latest MP3 player or are kicking it old school along with your portable CD player, deciding on the soundtrack to your dental experience can provide you with a fantastic distraction and peace of mind.

Move: Frequently, those with anxiety have excess energy to burn and that may lead to focusing too much energy towards your dental fears. Rather than believing too much to transfer your body and relieve the strain.

Sedation Dentistry: Some sources have indicated that 30 percent to 50 percent of Americans have some level of dental phobia. That is the reason why sedation dentistry has exploded in popularity. The procedure offers an extra level of comfort to patients, however, it is very important you just a well-qualified dentist.


2019-10-14T15:16:39+00:00 October 17th, 2019|Health|0 Comments