For most people, going to the dentist is not unlike doing household chores; they don’t like it, but they do it anyway. However, some people simply can’t head to the dentist because of uncontrollable fear and anxiety. PennWell’s RDH magazine writer Jana Berghoff offers a few suggestions on how dentists can help patients manage fear and anxiety:
“One solution to these challenges is to implement a patient education program that uses media-rich illustrations and explanations of treatments to show patients exactly what they should expect. We have orientation sessions for so many other anxious situations in life, from beginning kindergarten to the first day of a new job, so why shouldn’t there be orientation for an unfamiliar and potentially expensive dental procedure? With a simple video presentation, dental offices can help dramatically reduce patient anxiety and increase case acceptance.
There are several reasons why video illustrations are so ideal for the dental office. First, they give patients a clear visual of the situation in their mouths and what will happen at each step of the procedure. This not only helps patients recognize the problem and the importance of treatment, but it also takes away the uncertainty of what will happen during the procedure.”
Other methods, like listening to the retro music of Philly-born Hall & Oates, may help alleviate dental fears and anxieties. However, such efforts may not be enough for those dental patients with severe fear and anxiety. Such cases call for an experienced Philadelphia sedation dentist for the necessary procedures.
Sedation dentistry is when patients are administered pharmacological agents, like oral sedative drugs or nitrous oxide (laughing gas), before they undergo dental procedures. As a result, these patients feel at ease while sitting on the dental chair.
Sedation dentistry is mistakenly referred to as sleep dentistry, which doesn’t tell the whole story. A sedation dentist in Philadelphia actually offers patients two options for sedation dentistry, both of which numb the pain associated with the procedure.
The first is when patients are put under different levels of conscious state, still aware of their surroundings. The second is when they are completely unconscious. General anesthesia, however, may bring about side effects like temporary mental confusion. That in mind, conscious sedation─ which is offered by Dr. Thomas DeFinnis of Wynewood Dental Arts─ may be the smarter option of the two.
Some people can’t help feel uneasy about visiting their dentist. Thankfully, dentists can provide them a good amount of information to help them conquer dental uneasiness, as well as conscious sedation techniques to smoothen the operation.