The fear of dentist is known as odontophobia, dentophobia, or more commonly dental anxiety. Now, dental professionals are not the mental health professionals who would try to relax the patient in more effective manner. Still, this dental fear or anxiety turns out to be the biggest barrier between a patient’s need and his/her willingness to get the problem treated. Hence, it is one of the biggest issues in dentistry to care about.
A tip for the dentists
While it may be quite irritating to deal with the patient having fear of the dentist, the dentists need to make sure that they are not judging those patients based on the fear they have. Dental fear can arise or escalate due to a lot of factors which mainly include past bad experiences, scary stories and fear of the failure.
Since dentistry has evolved now and the risk factor involved in it has been reduced, it’s not the dentists’ job to make the patients believe in the effectiveness and safety of the procedure. Yet, many people wouldn’t be comfortable even after hearing all those convincing stories about the development made in the field of dentistry. Therefore, the dentists need to have realistic expectations regarding mental situations of the patients; and hence they need to be ready to deal with the patients with anxieties on the peak levels.
When a patient doesn’t seem comfortable with the dental treatment, the best option you have is to give sedation to the patient. A few sedation techniques are mentioned as under.
Conscious Oral Sedation
Conscious Oral Sedation is for the less fearful patients. It mainly involves intake of one or two pills depending upon the level of fear the patient may be having at that time. With this sedation technique, dentist tends to keep the patient awake. However, this technique mainly puts receptors in the brain that cause fear to pause. Hence, a patient may be talking to the dentist but the fear he/she would have before sedation would be gone by now. For more anxious people, the intensity of sedation can be increased in order to bring patient in semi-conscious state.
This sedation method completely knocks out the patient. This sedation can be given to the patients needing intense kind of dental treatment or to the ones who fear too much to see the dentist working on their oral cavity. Some patients are too afraid that they fear the needle. In that scenario, oral sedation may be provided in order to relax the patient. When the patient is relaxed, IV sedation can be provided to put the patient to sleep.
This inhaling method has been pretty popular in dentistry. Nitrous oxide is also known as laughing gas because most of the people start laughing in semi-conscious state after having this gas inhaled. This method is effective just like oral sedation.