For many persons, dental treatment is one of the most fearful experiences that they would go through, which always doesn’t cause the pain that they think of, but the level of fear is very high due to many reasons, major being the instruments being used, and patients not able to see what treatment is going on in their mouth.
The fear to any dental treatment is referred to as dental phobia, which can lead to anxiety when the patient thinks about the pain during treatment, any complications after the treatment, fear of syringes etc. A few reasons for dental phobia are:
Dental Phobia Causes: Syringe – The fear of syringes has always been there in patients mind. Although these syringes are meant to reduce the pain during the treatment, patients react a lot to the pain induced when the syringe is injected initially in the tissues in the mouth. Another major fear is about the syringe being injected at some other place and the consequences of that.
Dental Phobia Causes: Instruments and insecurity – Patients of any age, in particular the children are always worried about the sharp and big instruments that are used to treat them. Pulling out the teeth using forceps, the cavity preparation, which they call as drilling, with the fast rotating motor drills. The patients always have a fear of what is going on inside the mouth, which they are not able to view directly. This continues till the end of the treatment.
Dental Phobia Causes: Previous bad experiences – If someone has had a bad experience with a dentist and the treatment was extremely painful then, the fear is locked in the mind for always. Visiting a dentist would be a nightmare for them. Along with that, many are influenced by the experiences of their family members, or friends who had some negative experiences at the dentist.
Managing Fearful Patients for Dental Treatments
Developing fear, gagging, popping out reasons to avoid dentist, getting unconscious during treatment are all psychological results when anyone thinks about a dentist and the dental visit. And the level of each depends on different factors. The dentist has to know how to deal the patient more psychologically than dentally. Once the patient develops positive feeling for the dental visit, the treatment always has a good outcome.
Dentist need to have a nonthreatening atmosphere in the clinic. Rather than putting up some hard-to-watch and fearful posters of gum disease, fractures, you should have something soothing that makes the patient more comfortable.
Patient counseling – The dentist has to counsel the patient, motivate them to give them an option to choose. Both sides of the treatment has to be explained, the good and the probable bad.
Gently explain the patient about the treatment procedure, the time to be taken for that, and what you expect from them during the treatment. The patient should be given a chance to raise their hand and take a break during the treatment, if feeling uncomfortable. Many patients unaware of how much it pains when a treatment is being done, react and complicate the treatment procedures sometimes when the instruments are still in mouth. So explaining the patients about the treatment is necessary.
If you feel there is nothing harder and fearful than visiting a dentist, better visit a psychologist first, or think of what led to make you think that. You are the best counselor and psychologist for yourself. Also try to ask your closed ones about the better side of dental treatment and their positive experiences, rather than the bad times.
The dentists can also administer oral sedatives/sedative dentistry techniques when nothing works out, which reduces the anxiety levels and the dental treatment becomes easier for both the patient as well as the dentist.