How to have a more relaxed
We begin the
process of helping you to deal with your anxiety at your phone call,
while making your appointments. Our staff has been especially
trained in caring patient services and will inform you of
what to expect and answer your questions to ensure your confidence
and comfort during your visit.
Quick Fact File Alleviating Dental
Discomfort or phobia:
Nitrous oxide-also know as laughing
gas, nitrous oxide is inhaled to decrease the anxiety of patients.
Oral conscious sedation-pills are given to take the
anesthetics-These medicines are applied with swab to numb the gums,
before injectable anesthetic is administered.
Analgesics such as aspirin or ibuprofen
General anesthesia-renders a patient fully
unconscious, general anesthetic is reserved for people with severe
anxiety or those requiring extensive dental surgery, often used with
children. We perform this procedure at our local hospital.
These are some things we offer which can
help you through this difficulty:
Tell our staff about your reservations so we
can bring them into the open to help us tailor your treatment to your needs.
Prearrange a signal ahead of time, like
raising your hand, to indicate your are needing a break.
Our staff will explain each procedure.
We have patient education on CD Rom in the
treatment rooms to help you understand the procedures.
Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
Don't cross your legs while receiving
We will show you what the handpiece sounds like before the procedure
If the cavity is small enough we can use
air abrasion to
treat the cavity instead of the handpiece.
strategies, we offer headphones during the procedure.
Eat a light meal the day of your
Eating high protein foods produces a
calming effect, unlike sugary foods.
Avoid caffeine before a dental
appointment to help make your less anxious.
Try to schedule your visit for a time when
you won't be rushed.
We offer ear plugs during the procedure.
uses powerful particles of aluminum oxide to remove debris and
decay. The most exciting thing for patients is that air abrasion is
painless and, in some cases, doesn't require an anesthetic. Although
air abrasion is not suitable for all dental procedures, it is often
used for bonding procedures, and on tooth restorations involving
Pain management techniques:
Topical anesthetic before the injection-topical
with a swab, are routinely used to numb
the area in the mouth or
gums where the dental work will be
done. The topical anesthetic is given
prior to injection with a local
-"laughing gas" to helps you relax
Slow smooth injection technique
Room temperature anesthesia
delivered anesthesia (also
called transcutaneous electrical
nerve stimulation [TENS]). This is
an alternative to the shot of anesthesia. Adhesive pads
are placed on the face and a
battery-powered device sends
electrical impulses to the
treatment area to numb it. The patient
controls the level of stimulation
a hand-held unit. Another form of
anesthesia is called cranial
electrotherapy stimulation. Under
this technique, electricity is
passed into the brain, which
relaxation. Again, the patient
controls the intensity of the
current, increasing or decreasing
it to control the pain as
needed. Advantages of these approaches are
that as soon as the device is
switched off, the effect is
instantly reversed. The patient is
able todrive and resume normal activities
immediately following the dental
sedation. An oral medication, such as Halcion, works on
the central nervous system to help you relax. Oral sedatives
are often not prescribed because they take about 30 min before their
are felt and can cause downiness that may last for hours.
techniques help to reduce pain and anxiety:
Imagery-imaging a pleasant experience or a particularly
soothing environment. By concentrating on creating as
much detail as possible, your mind becomes absorbed in this
task rather than focusing on what we are doing.
breathing-involves breathing deeply and slowly, which floods the body with oxygen and other chemicals that workon the central nervous system to improve your comfort.
relaxation-you consciously concentrate on relaxing
every muscle in your body beginning
all the way up to your head to reduce muscle tension whichreduces pain.
self-induced as a way to produce a relaxed state.
health therapy to work with a professional with severe
anxiety and phobias and may include:
desensitization where you are gradually exposed
to the things you are afraid of.
behavior therapy teaches you to calm your mind and
body and to change negative/harmful thinking patterns so
feel better and think more clearly.
where you increase your personal awareness and come to
understand and make peace with difficult events or fears
from the past.
Fear With Trust!
We recommend taking Advil or Tylenol at home
before having dental work done at the office.
Get a good night's sleep the night before
Talking you through procedures.
Friends or family are invited to be with you
during this time.
Medications that your family doctor might
Negative thoughts can increase
pain. If you arrive at our office angry, fearful or sad,
take a moment to get in a neutral state of mind through relaxing,
music or prayer, that way the dental treatment will be more
here to learn all we have done and continue to do to ensure that
every aspect of your visit is designed to create optimal comfort.
If the sound of the dental handpiece or drill
causes you psychological fear please tell us about it BEFORE a procedure.
Try one new positive step to
help you relax during your next visit.
Updates in Anxiety In
Is the Chair Position Important?
Dental anxiety in the general population is more
prevalent in females than in males. The presence of dental
anxiety was studied in a group of 189 females and 176 males using the
following scales: the Dental
Anxiety Scale, the Self- Rating Depression Scale and the Quality
of Life Index . The results obtained showed significant
differences only in relation to dental anxiety regarding the use of
instruments (such as needles and handpieces) and the tilted-back
position of the chair No significant gender differences emerged
between the two groups in relation to dental anxiety regarding
dentist-patient relations , depression , and the quality of life
. The results may explain why women avoid dental care and
indicate new designs to make the chair position more comfortable would
Read complete article at
Citation: Settineri S, Tatě F, Fanara G. Gender
Dental Anxiety: Is the Chair Position Important? J Contemp Dent
Pract 2005 February;(6)1:115-122.
Seizures and Dental Procedures
Patients with seizure disorders,
even those well controlled with antiepileptic drugs can and do have
seizures when subjected to stress. If fear is the cause then any type of
sedation will be beneficial. Specifically, IV sedation with midazolam or
diazepam would be MOSTpreferred as these are the agents administered IV
to terminated seizures. Oral sedation with benzodiazepines such as
triazolam will also be beneficial, as would inhalation sedation with
nitrous oxide and oxygen.
Sedation is used to PREVENT medical emergencies, and
properly administered does not cause them.
The prevalence of dental anxiety in
the general population seems to be fairly stable, and the incidence is
not reduced in spite of more modern treatment methods. Intensive fear
often leads to avoidance of care and consequences like poor oral
health, psychosocial problems and reduced quality of life. The
etiology of dental anxiety is complex, but is often associated with
direct traumatic dental experiences during childhood. These negative
experiences are reported as painful/unpleasant and are influenced by the
patient's perception of lack of coping and control. However, several
positive dental appointments before any invasive or painful treatment
sessions may act as a barrier to these perceptions of lack of coping.
[ Skaret E,Soevdsnes EK Behavioural science in
dentistry. The role of the dental hygienist in prevention and treatment
of the fearful
dental patient , International Journal of Dental Hygiene 2005;
fear in sexually abused
abuse linked to dental
of the adult population
that has some level of
anxiety of dental
treatment, females report
much higher levels of
anxiety than males.
Studies reveal that sexual
abuse is quite prevalent,
with 1 in 4 females
reporting a history of
sexual abuse and 1 in 7
males reporting a history."
There are long-term
consequences that may
affect the way these
people cope with
situations, and how they
may approach or avoid
various types of medical
treatment. Many of these
patients possibly do not
know why they are afraid
or have these anxieties.
There are several signs of
childhood sexual abuse
that dental patients
exhibit, some of the
common signs of past
sexual abuse include
resistance to being placed
in a horizontal position,
fear of having objects
placed over the face,
sudden outbursts of crying
without apparent reason,
severe gagging and an
involuntary turning of the
head away from the dentist
as he approaches the
mouth. It is important to
note that :acting like a
parent or adult
authoritative figure will
actually worsen the
flashback and frustrate
the dentist even
J Dentistry Today, Dr.
Jack Bynes 2004; 22(12)
Please also see:
Dental phobia center
fear in sexually abused
The aim of the present
study was to investigate
dental fear in women who
have been exposed to
different kinds of sexual
abuse. In a
questionnaire study, 99
sexually abused women were
divided into three groups:
one group who reported
having been exposed to
sexual touching (ST); one
group who reported
intercourse (IC); and one
group who reported sexual
abuse involving oral
mean score on dental fear
significantly higher for
all groups. Women in the
OP group scored
significantly higher than
women in other groups on
dental fear. The
majority of the women
reported that they had
experienced problems in
relation to dental
half of the women in the
OP group and one-third in
the other groups reported
that they had never
considered that there was
a relationship between the
abuse and their problems
with dental treatment
Significantly more women
in the OP group reported
that they had not been
aware of the relationship,
possibly because the abuse
had been repressed. The
majority of the women with
extreme dental fear had
never informed a dentist
that they had been
At our office we are
sensitive to these issues
and do all we can to help
you through this difficult
Willumsen, Dental fear in sexually abused women, European Journal Of Oral Sciences 109 (5), 291-296
Dental Anxiety Fact Sheet by AGD December 2001 Dental Impact, page 20.
* Negative Thought Increase Pain Perception. a Canadian research project.
Dental Phobia and
February 06, 2008
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