If a patient is experiencing persistent pain and tightness in the jaw, temporomandibular joint disorders, often referred to as TMD, may be to blame. While people with this condition typically have similar symptoms, there are several different reasons why a person might develop an issue with the TMJ. One of the most common contributors to…
Tips to Avoid Procrastination and Anxiety About General Dentistry
Dental care and general dentistry treatment are vital to keeping the mouth and overall body healthy. Unfortunately, many kids and even adults have anxiety about dental visits and procrastinate until simple problems are exacerbated into larger ones. To head off things such as decay and gum disease before they get out of control, it is important that regular dental exams are scheduled. Those who have a fear of the dentist may need to learn to curb their anxiety to ensure they get proper dental care.
Many dentist offices offer some type of sedation dentistry to help those who struggle with anxiety. These can extend to oral medications, IV sedation, nitrous oxide or a topical anesthetic. This helps patients to relax and still get the treatment they need without any additional stress or worry.
Curbing dental anxiety
Talk about concerns
One good way patients can head off dental stress and anxiety is by choosing someone they trust and communicating openly about their fears. There is no shame in having dental anxiety, and discussing concerns ensures that the staff and dentist are aware of them. They can then adapt all treatments and procedures to help the patient stay calm.
Choose a strategic appointment time
An appointment during the most stressful hours of the day is a bad idea if the patient has dental anxiety. For example, a parent with young kids may not want to schedule an appointment right before the kids’ naptime. A patient with a high-stress job would not want to schedule an appointment during the middle of a busy workday. Early morning and Saturday appointments, when available, can help to reduce stress.
Bring a distraction
To help distract, many choose to bring headphones to their general dentistry appointment. They can listen to calming music or audio books to help settle their nerves. The sound of the dental instruments can also be blocked out by headphones or music.
Focus on breathing
Those who feel stressed during dental procedures can reduce their stress by breathing slowly and regularly. When a person is nervous, they may hold their breath, and oxygen levels will quickly decrease. This increases panic feelings, but regular, slow breathing helps eliminate stress.
Use hand signals to communicate during treatment
The most important thing is for a patient to feel comfortable during the actual procedure. When tension levels rise, it is a good idea to use hand signals to let the dentist and staff know. These hand signals can be determined before treatment starts. When discomfort rises, the patient can ask that the procedure be stopped for a few minutes.
Do not go alone
Those who fear general dentistry procedures and appointments can benefit from bringing someone they trust to their appointment. The person should be someone that helps them relax and has a calming effect on them.
Adults and kids who fear the dentist should not avoid treatment when there is help available to reduce stress and tension. Whether through simple breathing techniques or sedation, there are tools to help almost anyone get through a procedure.
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