How to Conquer the Dental Fear for Your Children

The mere thought of visiting a dentist is enough to keep millions of anxious people away each year, even those in pain. Traumatic dental fears are inevitable to some dental patients. These fears have probably been with them since childhood, and it is not easy to get rid of it during adult life. The anxiety these people suffer actually causes them to choose pain over relief. If you suffer from dental phobia, you can conquer your fear by understanding the issues behind your anxiety.

For many children, a trip to the doctor or dentist is a stressful experience. The sensory environment (i.e., the sounds, smells, and lights associated with the clinical setting) can cause a child's anxiety levels to rise.

Dental fear can develop for many reasons. One of the most common reasons is past dental experience, even when the memory of it isn't quite accurate. For instance, a visit to a dentist as a child may have caused pain, creating a memory that contributes to your present anxiety, especially the dental instruments in dental clinic.

Another common reason for dental phobia is due to the experiences of others or your own imagination. For instance, a melodramatic friend may have exaggerated about a painful dental experience.

The researchers observed 35 children between the ages of 6-11 years, 16 of whom were developmentally disabled. They measured the anxiety levels of the children during each visit using a behavior checklist and monitored each child's electro-dermal activity, an objective measure of arousal.

No overhead lighting was used, a slow moving repetitive color lamp was added, and the dental hygienist wore a special LED headlamp that directed the light into the child's mouth. The children listened to soothing music and were wrapped in a heavy vest that created a "hugging" effect. For instance, sedation dentistry offers the use of pain relievers and sedatives before treatments. In addition, lasers effectively prepare teeth for fillings and can treat gum disease without significant bleeding.

If you suffer from a fear of visiting the dentist, realize that you're not alone. It is a common fear that is quite significant for those affected. However, you can conquer your dental fear by taking a look at the reasons for your anxiety. Dentists understand that this is normal, so they give alternatives for patients to be comfortable with the treatment.

 


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