How to manage dental phobia for oral surgery
Do you sweat profusely at the mention of the word dentist? Do you have a bad toothache for days before you cave in and get an appointment? When you see a dentist office building do you turn around and drive the opposite direction?
If you answered yes, then you might have dentophobia. For many who fear the dentist, the worst possible torture comes at the hands of an oral surgeon. Fear of going to the dentist causes sleeplessness and anxiety. It can make a person endure extreme pain from a broken tooth or to try DIY dentistry. Most likely your fear falls into the anxiety category but there are many people who suffer from phobia.
Anxiety and dentists seems to be a common fear. Studies show that millions of people avoid seeing a dentist due to anxiety. But, never fear. There are some tricks to help soothe the stress of tooth extraction and the dreaded dentist’s office.
Find a dentist you trust. Ask friends and relatives for recommendations. Get testimonials from formers patients. Do some research. Browse online and find a dental phobia group. Talking to others often helps relieve anxiety and reduce stress.
Talk to the dentist and find out if he/she adheres to Gentle Dentistry. Dentists certified by Gentle Dentistry supposedly focus on their own skills by improving dental techniques, using new technology and taking the time to meet customer needs.
If a tooth is being extracted, find out what the procedure involves in order to avoid surprises. Ask if the dentist uses an oral analgesic like a numbing gel. Although a little extreme, shadowing a dentist and another patient during a similar treatment often helps relieve anxiety.
Ask a friend to go with you for support. Remember to take magazine, a hand-held game or a word puzzle to try to stay relaxed in the waiting room. If allowed sip some tea or water. If tension still persists, ask support person for a shoulder rub.
Many dentists offer virtual reality headsets to allow patients to view television. Others provide headsets with music. It’s a good idea to take an iPod or similar device loaded with favorite tunes. Once the ear buds are tucked in, crank up the volume to drown out the cracking noises and the gluppity sound of decayed tooth being pulled from the gums.
Listen to a relaxation tape or concentrate on your «happy place». Think about how much better you will feel after your infected tooth is gone.
During injections the release of the Novocain or other drug used is often what causes the most pain. If it goes in too fast or the dentist pushes too hard, pain is more severe. Made by CompuDent, The Wand is computerized to deliver the anesthetic more efficiently. A needle is still used but the patient feels a tiny prick instead of intense pain.
Sedation for oral surgery and other dental procedures makes the patient drowsy. Dentists use oral, intravenous and inhalation sedation to help patients go to the land of dreams avoiding any potential pain. If you really just cannot deal with injections to numb the treatment area, this technique is the least traumatic.