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How to deal with dental phobia

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How to deal with dental phobia
If you feel anxiety when you have to go to the dentist, it means that you have a dental phobia. When it comes to triggering a fear response, few things can set people off like an upcoming trip to the dentist.

That fear can set in early.  Threatening comments from a parent, such as "If you don't brush your teeth, you'll have to go to the dentist," can leave a lasting negative impression. More common, a painful experience at the dentist's office during childhood triggers anxiety that carries over into adulthood.

New dental tools have come a long way over the past few decades. Needles that inject numbing agents, for example, are super-thin compared with those used a few decades ago. Improved methods and tools also help dentists slow the rate at which medicine works its way into gums, easing discomfort from the pressure of the medication as it's quickly released from the syringe.

Calming Dental Anxiety

A host of medications and new products help reduce pain, too. Topical anesthetic gels and dental patches used to numb gums keep patients comfortable during injections and deep cleanings. Nitrous oxide relaxes patients during more involved procedures. So does intravenous conscious sedation, which eases pain and discomfort while keeping you awake with medications given through an intravenous line placed in either the hand or arm.

And because a little distraction goes a long way, iPods for your listening pleasure, big-screen televisions, iPads, and virtual reality glasses that put your eyes and mind in another realm are common items in the modern dentist's office. So is calming décor -- fresh flowers, miniature waterfalls, and bright, inviting wall colors.

To truly calm your fears, it never hurts to remember that inside the dentist's white coat is a person who cares as much about your comfort as your teeth.

Tips for Dental Phobia

Talk. A good dentist should begin a visit by asking you open-ended questions about what bothers you so he or she knows what not to do. If you talk about it first, it will remove the anxiety.
Preparation. Ask your dentist in advance what you can expect during your visit and how procedures, such as injections, are handled.
Sign. Establish a sign, such as raising your hand, to let your dentist know if you're uncomfortable and need him to stop working immediately.






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