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Effective Methods for Treating Patients with Dental Anxiety

Effective Methods for Treating Patients with Dental Anxiety

Jan 01, 2021

The term dental anxiety is used to describe fear or stress in dental settings. Being afraid to visit dental offices results in delaying or avoiding essential dental treatments. Dental anxiety is pretty common among many people, with estimates available stating approximately 32 percent of all patients are affected.

Dental anxiety shouldn’t prevent you from seeking dental treatments because strategies are available to cope with dental stress. You can discuss with your dentist the method best suited for your needs. You can also seek counseling from a psychologist to help deal with the anxiety.

Dental anxiety is often associated with specific triggers like needles, dental drills, or the dental setting. Mental conditions such as generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression can increase the risks of patients experiencing dental anxiety. Thankfully dentists are experienced in the management of anxious dental patients and use various techniques to calm them.

What Are the Indications and Marks of Dental Anxiety?

People with dental anxiety usually experience sweating, tachycardia or palpitations, low blood pressure, visible distress like crying or signs of panic, aggressive or humorous behavior combined with withdrawal at times.

Anxious patients routinely overlook dental appointments because they find it challenging to undergo any dental treatment regardless of whether the procedure is minor or complicated.

Dental Anxiety Can Affect Your Oral Health

Dental diseases continue to worsen when dentists are avoided like the plague by patients affected by dental anxiety. When patients avoid dental visits, there is a significant need for emergency care and complicated treatments.

Regular dental exams and cleanings with x-rays can prevent dental disease helping the patient to detect problems early when they are comfortable to treat. It will help if people understood most dental issues are preventable and related to their lifestyle. Not only are patients making themselves vulnerable to receive intensive treatments, but they are also missing out on learning how to care for their oral and general health.

What Are the Causes of Dental Anxiety?

Dental anxiety usually results from traumatic dental experiences or any other healthcare experienced earlier. However, other reasons also contribute to dental anxiety. Some reasons for this problem include trauma to the head or neck, generalized anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, fear of loss of control, and many others.

How Do Dentists Manage Dental Anxiety?

The dentist in Covington, GA, uses various techniques to manage dental anxiety. Some patients are recommended meditation for dental anxiety as a method to ease the fear in their minds. At times patients are referred to a psychologist who may provide short, targeted therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy for success.

When dental anxiety cannot be managed by psychologists or meditation dentists, they prefer using dental anxiety treatment options readily available. They may decide to use relative analgesia or nitrous oxide besides anxiety-relieving medications like conscious sedation and general anesthesia.

Creative Dentistry of Covington provides patients anxiety-relieving medications to help them relax. A single dose of medication is prescribed to be taken an hour before the dental appointment. Patients must understand the medicines provided are for anxiety management, and they will still receive local anesthesia in their mouths for pain management.

Anxiety relieving medicines don’t make patients unconscious but merely help them relax by remaining responsive to the dentist’s questions. The medications make the patient groggy and leave them believing they were in the dentist’s chair for only a few minutes when their procedure may have taken a couple of hours.

Patients will need help from someone accompanying them to drive back home as they will not be in a position to do so themselves. The person attending them must remain with the patient for at least another couple of hours after reaching home.

How Are Extremely Anxious Patients Treated?

Too anxious dental patients are recommended general anesthesia for the treatments they need to be performed in a hospital setting. General anesthesia renders the patient entirely unconscious and requires them to remain in the hospital until they regain consciousness. However, there are certain risks associated with general anesthesia, and dentists prefer managing patients with dental anxiety using oral sedation proving as an effective remedy for anxious patients.

Managing dental anxiety is no longer a challenge for most dentists who recommend various methods to overcome it. In extreme cases, they are willing to recommend general anesthesia but will try to convince patients about managing dental anxiety by themselves using various techniques advised by their dentist.

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