Managing Dental Anxiety For A Healthy Smile
Dental anxiety is more common than many patients think. Up to 24% of people around the world suffer from anxiety at the mere thought of visiting a dentist. The associated pain, drilling, and injections can scare off many patients. Overcoming dental fear is possible with various coping mechanisms. Dental compounding may also help. Finding a solution to dental anxiety can be the first step toward a better smile.
1. Voice your feelings
The most important part of managing dental anxiety is for patients to let the dentist know about any anxious feelings or thoughts. Patients can describe past negative experiences and ask any questions about the procedure to find ways to lessen anxiety. Dentists will work with patients to find a solution to alleviate discomfort and pain.
2. Strategic distractions
The smell and sounds of a dentist’s office can trigger worrisome thoughts for some sensitive patients. Patients can employ several distraction techniques to reduce the sensitivity to environmental triggers. The following coping methods can reduce dental anxiety.
- Headphones can provide patients with music or audiobook entertainment during the entire procedure to distract from the triggering noises.
- A stress ball or other fidget toys such as a fidget spinner can keep patients calm throughout the procedure.
- Deep breathing exercises can relax a patient’s muscles and mind. Inhaling slowly and counting breaths before an appointment can ease dental anxiety leading up to the procedure.
3. Dental compounding
Pharmacy compounding is the process of assembling a custom medication for a patient. Pharmacists create an individualized prescription with a strength and dosage form ideal for the patient. Dental compounding can ease dental anxiety in a variety of ways. A topical anesthetic removes the pain and invasiveness of painkiller injections. Flavored medications can make pain-relieving medicine more appealing to children and adults. Compounded medication can include anxiety medication to ease a patient’s worries.
Benefits of custom medications
Pharmacists can create custom pain relievers and sedatives for patients with dental anxiety. Dental compound medications also exist for a variety of dental procedures, including dry socket treatments, plaque removers, tooth whiteners, ulcers of the mouth, gum disease, and more.
Finding a solution
Every case of dental anxiety is different. What works for one person may not work for another. Dental anxiety can be reduced with regular visits to the dentist to stay on top of dental health. Dental compounding can be a line of defense against discomfort during a dental procedure. Patients can speak with a dentist to find compounding solutions and treatment for dental anxiety.