INTRODUCTION: Dental anxiety and dental phobia are the common problems among the patients who visit a dental office for the first time or had previous negative dental experiences. The causes associated are fear of pain while getting the treatment done, fear of trauma after the procedure, psychological pain which might not be symptomatic at the site for which the visit has been made. Also, there is fear of getting vision by extraction done, mainly in the upper jaw.
Dental phobia is more serious than dental anxiety as it leaves you panic-stricken and terrified.
WAYS TO OVERCOME DENTAL ANXIETY
1. Identify your fear and overcome it by doing some work out before visiting.
2. Opt for experienced clinician who has managed variety of patients, successfully. An experienced dentist can help you to relax your fears.
3. Get accompanied by someone on dental visit.
4. Be open to ask queries related to your dental health. This will help in having a good conversation with your dentist and his explanation towards the required treatment will help you to get the procedure done.
5. Don’t hesitate to share your systemic or emotional issues (if necessary), this will help the dentist to handle you with great care and concern on dental chair while treating.
6. Learn about mindfulness, meditation and breathing techniques. During treatment your open mouth can cause slight discomfort, breathing from nose can help you calm down physically and mentally while positioned on dental chair.
7. Use AWARE technique:
- A: Accept the anxiety. Don't try to fight it.
- W: Watch the anxiety. Just watch it and when you notice it, scale your level of fear and start to breathe longer on the out-breath.
- A: Stands for ‘Act normally.
- R: Repeat the above steps in your mind if necessary.
- E: Expect the best.
WAYS TO OVERCOME DENTAL PHOBIA
1. Share your fear with family, friends and even with your dentist. The advice to stay calm on a dental visit can help you gain confidence to get the treatment done successfully.
2. Keep focus on breathing technique and instructions given by your dentist. This helps you to coordinate with the treatment planning.
3. Use hand signals to let your dentist know about pain or any discomfort. By doing this he will stop working and allow you to speak up. He will listen to it and continue further, as required.
4. Take a low stress appointment- meaning that the appointment taken should be according to your convenience and time. It is always better to take an appointment when there are less number of patients on that particular day. This will help you to talk with your dentist and in turn will help the dentist too to make you comfortable before taking you for the treatment.
5. Gather some good reviews about the clinician in your area. This will again help in building up confidence before making a visit.
6. Conscious sedation like laughing gas (Nitrous oxide) can cause lightheadedness and tingling sensation making patient giggle and gives the feel of floating and euphoria.Ideally by using this gas the patient is conscious, but drowsy. He might not even remember the treatment he had undergone.