Principles of treating dentally anxious patients.
Treating dental anxiety is an incredibly important part of dental treatment in general. It is important to offer your patients a number of different methods to alleviate the stress associated with visiting the dentist.
- Use communication as a tool. In many cases, talking through the situation takes the stigma away from dental treatment. Patients often realise after a short consultation that a lot has changed in dentistry over the years, and we are now better equipped than ever to provide a stress-free environment.
- Use distraction, hypnotherapy, meditation and breathing. Today’s dentist should be well-trained to offer remedial exercises to cope with anxious patients. Additionally, a multi-disciplinary approach involving a counselor can be very valuable.
- Deliver local anaesthetic painlessly. For most people, taking away the pain takes away the anxiety surrounding dental treatment. Your local anaesthetic delivery can be your best tool to treat anxiety.
- Oral sedation has relaxing and anxiolytic effects for your patients, and is a nice, affordable option.
- Inhalation sedation is readily reversible, and creates a really nice, relaxing atmosphere, that is again very affordable.
- Intra-venous sedation can conveniently be organised with a sedationist.
- General anaesthesia can be coordinated as a day surgery in a hospital setting.