Trembling, sweating, and shaking when in the dental chair? That might be odontophobia. Odontophobia is a condition where one is irrationally fearful when it comes to dentistry. External events such as traumas and internal predispositions like genetics are two factors that raised this type of phobia. The help of a psychologist or a dentist is needed in overcoming odontophobia.
We at Parklane Family Dentistry are compassionate about giving the dental needs of our Special Needs Patients. We understand that sometimes, the patient develops dental traumas or anxieties making them refuse to visit their dentist. However, the dental phobia can sometimes put the risk of the patient’s dental health. Dental phobia can cease them from visiting the dentist thereby giving room for oral irregularities such as tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease. With this, we make sure to provide our patients a gentle dental experience.
There are modern ways to overcome odontophobia. The dentists are proficient in giving effective therapies for special patients with dental phobia.
Behavioural Therapy. The dentist will utilize a tell-show-do technique for the patient. The primary goal of this approach is to expose and desensitize odontophobia. This has different sessions, and the amount of exposure is gradually increased during the session. Sometimes, the patient will be asked to just imagine or look at the photographs of the teeth.
Exposure Therapy. In this therapy, it will involve putting oneself in a stressful scenario with regards to the phobia and overcoming it with new learning. This process comprises five steps. First, an evaluation where patients will describe their fears and past experiences that had contributed to it with the therapist. Second, the therapist will now give its feedback regarding the evaluation and propose a treatment plan. Third, both the therapist and the patient will create a list of intense scenarios involving the patient’s fear. Fourth, patients can now begin exposing themselves to the items on the list. During this stage, the patient will start to notice that the panic is reducing while encountering the fear. Lastly, the final step is called building, wherein the patient will move on to increasingly difficult situations.
For special patients, here is a list of practical ways to overcome dental phobia:
- Bringing a family member or a friend during dental appointments.
- Choosing a dentist that the patient may be most comfortable with.
- Using noise-canceling headphones to combat loud machinery in the clinic.
- Consider sedation therapy.
- Bringing something such as stress ball during the dental visit can help divert the patient’s attention.
Everyone deserves an anxious-free, comfortable dental experience. Avail of our Special Needs Patients Services in Frisco, TX. Book your appointment with us at Parklane Family Dentistry, visit 1606 FM 423, Suite 200 Frisco, TX 75033.