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3 Distraction Techniques for Managing Dental Anxiety
Dental anxiety is a condition that affects many people all over the globe. These fears can be the result of previous bad experiences with the dentist, being worried about what others might think about the condition of your teeth or worries about how much the treatments you get will cost.
While many view dental treatments as some form of medieval torture, the reality is these treatments rarely ever cause the patient any pain. Dental treatments are performed to fix oral issues that cause pain and discomfort. It typically brings an end to any pain and discomfort the patient is dealing with. Dentists also have access to local anesthetics so patients rarely feel anything during these treatments even when a procedure looks like it might be painful.
People with dental phobias often make up excuses to avoid going to the dentist. As a result, any oral issues they have become worse over time until the pain and discomfort forces them to see a dentist regardless of their fears. The phobia ends up making the patient deal with more pain than they would have had to deal with if they went to a dentist earlier. It creates a need for more dental treatments to fix their issues and it leads to higher dental bills.
Using distraction techniques to alleviate dental anxiety
Eliminating dental anxiety is not as simple as telling patients dentists are here to help them get rid of pain and discomfort. These fears are deeply embedded in the minds of those who are afraid of dentists and it takes effort on their part to overcome those fears. Here are some distraction techniques that can help people with dental phobias put their fears behind them:
1. Talk to the dentist about your fears
Talking about feelings of anxiety makes you feel better. It also lets the dentist know that they might have to take extra precautions to make their patient feel more comfortable during treatments. Patients should bring up their dental phobia when booking their appointment and they should remind the dentist and their staff about their phobia during their appointments.
Inform the dentist about any past experiences so they know what to avoid, and agree on a signal that lets the dentist know when you are feeling overwhelmed and need a break. Patients should also ask their dentist lots of questions before and after their treatments. Knowing what to expect goes a long way when it comes to alleviating anxiety. The more patients talk during their treatments, the less anxious they feel.
2. Keep your hands occupied
Having something in your hand like a fidget spinner or stress ball can help to distract your mind during dental treatments. Instead of focusing on the dentist, keep your thoughts focused on the object being manipulated with your hands.
3. Wear headphones
Listening to relaxing music can help to keep patients relaxed during treatments. Wireless earbuds are best since there are no wires that can interfere with the dental work being performed. Listening to music forces the brain to focus less on the sounds being generated by the tools used by dentists – which can cause anxiety.
We can help you get past your dental phobia
Call or visit our Kaysville clinic to learn more about how you can use distraction techniques to manage dental anxiety.
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