Dental phobia, or dental anxiety is troubling a great majority of the patients. They are afraid to go to the dentist because of the injections, because of the fearful dental drill or simply because they cannot stand the smells in the dental office.
Then, some patients have put up with very painful experiences at the dentist in the past, so they are refusing categorically any relationship with the dentist, his office and his tools.
Dental phobias can be eliminated through three different approaches
The psychological approach
If you are lucky enough to find a dentist that is highly professional and experienced, he will know how to act and communicate with you to make you feel comfortable during appointments.
New technology to help patients with dental phobia
Luckily technology has evolved a great deal in the past few decades and now dentists have all kinds of tools and gadgets to help patients with dental phobia be able to sit through the appointments without problems.
Whether it is because dentists use the injector without needles, or they offer the patients an Mp3 player so that they can listen to relaxing music…all these are techniques to help coping with dental phobia.
The patient can now be sedated and he will not feel or remember anything from during the appointment. Dentists can offer oral sedation, IV sedation or the traditional nitrous oxide sedation (laughing gas)
The importance of the dentistry environment
A great majority of people are afraid to go to the dentist because of the not so welcoming, pure medial environment. The wisest dentists will know that the overall environment in their office has a huge impact on patients with dental phobia.
Therefore, they will try to design their office to be much warmer and welcoming, with fewer tools in plain sight. They try to eliminate that clinical sensation from their office, by painting the walls in warm colors, by adding modern furniture that does not remind patients of a hospital.
There are also many funny and witty accessories scattered all around the waiting room and in the office to make dental phobia patients forget for a little while about their anxiety.
Behavior management in the dental office
Many dentists offer dental phobia patients the tell and show technique. This means that before even touching the patient, they will first introduce all the tools that are going to be used, explain a little bit about the technology and of course praising the final outcome.
This way, dental phobia patients will feel at ease, because they will know exactly what is going to happen, and which tools are going to be used for the treatment. The tell and show technique, part of behavioral management also works wonders in the case of children.
“Silent” dental technology
Nowadays, the dental drill does not have to make that fearful sound. Modern dental drills are much quieter, even emitting quite a pleasant “humming” sound. There are generally plenty of minimally invasive dental tools that can be used to perform the required treatments, and these help dental phobia patients feel really relaxed throughout the appointments.