How can dental fear forum help in overcoming a patient’s dental anxiety? Dental fear can hinder someone’s ability to proceed with their dental treatment. How effective is a forum to put a patient at ease in meeting a dentist? It would be best to visit a dental clinic near you and open up with your dentist about your dental anxiety.
What is dental fear?
We are more familiar with the term dental anxiety, which also refers to the fear or stress in a dental setting. Being afraid to go to the dentist will be a huge problem. A patient may tend to delay or avoid their dental appointment because of this condition. As a result, patients with dental anxiety have a higher risk of developing oral health issues.
Generally speaking, dental anxiety can include fear of needles, drills or the whole dental setup. If the patient thoroughly avoids their dental appointments, we can already consider this as a dental phobia.
Symptoms of dental fear
We can look into these typical signs to know if someone has dental anxiety.
- The patient experiences cold sweats.
- Palpitations or rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) happens.
- The patient provides low blood pressure. Furthermore, they are prone to fainting (syncope).
- They show visible signs of distress or panic, like crying.
- The patient may show humour or aggression to cover up their anxiety.
- Avoidance of dental appointments.
For this reason, patients may entirely disregard their dental appointments, regardless if it’s a simple or complex procedure.
Causes of dental anxiety and phobia
There are a few reasons why a patient experiences dental anxiety. One of these may be causing your stress. Try to look into them.
- You have experienced trauma that can either be with a dentist or other healthcare.
- There is a previous trauma in your head and neck.
- Another traumatic experience, such as abuse, can also cause anxiety.
- The patient already has generalized anxiety, depression or post-traumatic disorder.
- They might find it odd to let someone explore their mouth. It appears to the patient as an invasion of their personal space.
- Letting a dentist do their procedures seems like losing their sense of control.
- The patient might have trust issues.
- There is existing anxiety associated with other health conditions.
Anyone is prone to have dental anxiety, regardless of age. From children to adults, they can suffer dental anxiety. Managing this fear is a whole different story. If nobody acted on it to work it out, children could carry it up to adulthood. As a result, adults will become anxious throughout their lives. Is there still a chance to permanently remove this condition?
Dental fear forum
It would be best for anyone to share their fears, distress and anxiety with someone they can trust. Initially, the family is supposed to be the first to come in line. However, there are cases that patients can be fearful of opening up verbally or face to face.
In this case, a dental forum can help. Nowadays, several online sites provide support through free access to let a patient share their dental experiences. In this forum, others can comment or give suggestions about your condition. Aside from that, they can even recommend their dentist whom they think fits your concern.
Sometimes, we only need a source where we can freely burst out our fears without being judged. Like dental anxiety, we only need someone who can guide us while working out our fears. These forums also keep histories. As a result, individuals can read it all over again and might find something relative to them.
Strategies on how to manage, treat and encourage anxious dental patients
We will never know how hard it is to be anxious, not unless we put ourselves in their shoes. Generally speaking, we can help distressed people get over their fears through the following strategies:
- Caring and communication
Allowing patients to voice their fears and concerns appears to be welcoming for them. As a result, they will start to become relaxed. Taking the time to listen to these patients will need a long way of understanding their conditions. A dentist can build an excellent connection with their patient by being comforting and a good communicator.
One way they can apply is the tell-show-do technique. In the “tell” part, the dentist will explain what will happen in the procedure. In the “show” part, they will provide demonstrations of how the process will push through. Lastly, the “do” part is performing the procedure without deviating from the “tell and show” details.
- Control and distraction
An effective way is to let the patient decide when the procedure is best to begin. The best time to start is when they are ready. It would also help to allow the patients to express if they want to have a small break. It is possible that between the procedure, their level of anxiety jolts up. In these cases, it would also help to let them request short breaks and start again when they already relaxed again.
On the other hand, the dentist can also apply several distractions to keep the patient’s attention away from the procedure. For example, the dentist allows them to hear their favourite music through their headphones. Another one is setting up a television. Another one is setting up a television. Any distraction will do as long as it will calm the patient and not hinder the dental process.
- Proper scheduling and the dental clinic setup
It would be best to provide schedules to patients and to meet them accordingly. Patients tend to think a lot when seeing, hearing or smelling things. In this case, their level of anxiousness heightens up.
For those patients with dental anxiety, they are better to be in morning dental sessions. It would help not keep them waiting for a long time. Moreover, it is also best to make clinic arrangements that will calm the patients. A relaxing and calm ambience will help the patients feel at ease with the dental clinic.
- Relative analgesia (happy gas)
The dentist will use nitrous oxide that can help a patient relax during the procedure. They are awake throughout the process but minimally remembers anything about it. Some patients consider this option, while others don’t want it due to the sensation it creates.
- Anxiety relieving medication (Oral anxiolytic tablets)
Patients usually take these oral medications an hour ahead of the dental schedule to relieve anxiety. They will need someone to accompany them to their dental appointment.
- Conscious sedation
This option involves an IV drip that a trained dentist or anaesthetist provides. In this case, the patient might fall into a light sleep but can still respond to verbal prompts.
- General anaesthesia
Usually, they use this kind of anaesthetics if the dental process will take a long time. Furthermore, the patient will be fully asleep and will no longer be aware of what will happen during the procedure.
There are so many strategies to address dental stress or anxiety. Being vocal about it is not a sin at all. So, you don’t have to be afraid to tell someone about it, especially your dentist. On the positive side, they are the best person who can help you overcome your fears about them and the whole dental setting. Given these points, gather the courage to open up and communicate.