Treating Dental Patients Who May Have Phobias

by | Apr 30, 2013 | Dental

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To some people going to the dentist is frightful. These people may have a fear of pain known as Agliophobia or they may have a fear of needles called Aichmophobia. At any rate, patients with fears or anxieties associated with dentist visits should be handled appropriately. Advances in medical treatment have allowed dentists to eliminate nearly all pain, but some people continue to feel anxious during dentist El Segundo visits.

Like all medical treatments communication is important. It may be practical for dentists El Segundo to include a question about phobias on their check-in questionnaire. This will allow the dentist and the patient to have a conversation without the patient feeling stressed about bringing it up to the dentist. This strategy also allows the dentist to communicate what procedures the patient will undergo; further putting their mind at ease.

Columbia University College of Dental Medicine suggests agreeing to signals such as hand signals that help patients communicate to their dentists when they cannot talk. Hand gestures are an efficient way to get the dentist’s attention to alert them that the anesthetics may be wearing off or that the patient needs to take a break.

Depending on the severity of the anxiety, relaxation techniques may be efficient to reduce stress in patients. Breathing exercises may help the patient relax and make it through the procedure. Every effort should be made to relax the patient; otherwise their muscles may tense up and cause even more pain stressing the patient even more.

There are some instances where the anxiety is so severe patients may need to seek therapy to help them cope. If the anxiety is extreme, it may be best to stop the procedure and continue when the patient has sought help to overcome their anxiety, otherwise the situation could place the patient and the dentist in physical danger.

Ultimately, dentists should take extra steps when faced with patients that have anxieties about dentist office visits. There are a number of different steps dentists can take to make patients feel at ease such as, engaging the patient in a conversation and trying various relaxation techniques to calm them down. The dentist’s ability to calm the patient will determine if the procedure should be carried out.