Can a Trip to the Dentist Be Relaxing and Enjoyable?
KEY STEPS TO REDUCING DENTAL ANXIETY
Many people feel some anxiety surrounding a dental visit. Thankfully, there are many natural things that can be done to overcome this.
The first is a calm and comfortable environment. This may include comfortable seating, a fireplace, or relaxing music. A good dental office is a place of patient wellness, and not simply oral care and environment helps turn an otherwise 'clinical' experience into a a spa-like experience.
Communication is the next step. Taking time to discuss treatment and patient concerns not only gives the Dentist valuable insight (eg. Use headphones during loud sounds), but also gives the patient a sense of control over their experience. Likewise a 'timeout' hand signal during treatment can help a patient maintain this sense of control.
Sensory distraction is an excellent tool to engage the senses of the patient in something soothing rather than what is happening in their mouth. Examples could be soft music, aromatherapy, hot towels, or neck pillows.
For more pronounced anxiety, relaxation/meditation techniques can be used. This could be anything from a guided meditation recording, to a quiet room where the patient can use their own preferred technique. Not only is meditation an excellent way to reduce anxiety, it has also been proven to have a powerful effect on the experience of physical pain.
Anxiety about Dentistry is neither rare nor unusual. Once a patient builds a rapport with a Dentist who practices the steps outlined above through trust and openness, they may even find that their trip to the Dental office becomes an enjoyable relaxing experience that they look forward to!
Dr. Angela Kapoor & Dr. Anita Sharma Drs. Angela Kapoor & Anita Sharma are sisters who received dental degrees from Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS. They have been practicing in the GTA for 19 and 22 years respectively. They are very excited to...