The words “painless” and “dentistry” together seems contradictory, and yet that’s what many dentists are working toward. They understand that nearly one in four patients have some kind of anxiety surrounding the dentist and these dentists look to make the fear of going to the dentist a thing of the past.
Why People Fear Going to the Dentist
About two thirds of those who are afraid of the dentist are because of bad experiences at the dentist as a child. Many of those revolve around feeling pain. The other one third patients who are afraid of dentist have problems with anxiety, PTSD, mood disorders, have been victims of domestic abuse or childhood sexual abuse, mood disorders, or substance abuse. Those in the latter one third are people who have transferred their fears over to the dentist.
What Pain Free Dentistry Offers
Pain free dentistry offers a way for patients to have dental work performed without experiencing the trauma and nervousness that anxious patients normally associate with the dentist. The dentist may numb the gum with a topical anesthetic before injecting the anesthetic into the gum. Novocain isn’t the only type of anesthetic used. Instead, the dentist may opt for a quicker acting and more targeted local anesthetic.
Pain free dentists may offer nitrous oxide (bubble gum scented, no less) to their nervous clients. It keeps the client awake but feeling no pain as the dentist performs the procedure.
More Patient-Friendly Drills
If you hate the sound of the dentist drill (and who really likes them?) you’ll be glad to know that many air operated dentist drills have been replaced by quieter, more accurate electric dentist drills. These drills cause less vibration too. Also, drill bits have become more sharper and are more accurate than bits used in prior years.
Porcelain and Composite Use
Dentists are opting to use more porcelain and composites in teeth rather than the amalgam of silver. This helps with pain because the dentist drills less to put the porcelain or composite in.
Laser Surgery is being used more frequently in the dentist office rather than the traditional scalpel. Lasers are more precise and there’s less blood and need for less sedation.
Friendlier and Most Approachable Dentists
Many dentists are getting training in psychology and learning how to make themselves less fearsome to their patients. By learning how to be more approachable to how to allay their patients’ fears, they are able to put their patients at ease.
Different Forms of Sedation
Many dentists are using different types of sedation depending on their patients’ anxiety and the amount of work needed to be done. In some case, anti-anxiety medication is needed up to general anesthesia and everything in between.
Other Things Pain Free Dentists May Do
You may find some pain free dentists using music and TV to help mask out the sounds of the drill and keep you preoccupied on anything other than the work on your teeth. They may also offer earplugs or headsets so that you don’t have to listen to the drill noise. You may find the lobby with coffee or tea and have a comfortable setting around.
The dentist should explain what the procedure is and what’s involved. By giving you a chance to understand what is going on, it will help with your anxiety.