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from the Academy of General Dentistry

Thursday, March 21, 2019
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Does Needle Size Matter?

Chapter: Anxiety & Needles

However, Gene Antenucci, DDS, FAGD, and an AGD spokesperson, feels that patients become fearful when they see the needle.  "Often times, when a patient sees a needle coming, the pain perception is heightened," he says. However, dentists can do a number of things to make a patient feel comfortable.  "To ease their fears, it often helps to focus on relaxing by breathing regularly and slowly.  Patients can also use hand signals to indicate when they are uncomfortable."
No matter the gauge of the needle, the most important factor in overcoming dental anxiety is a good dentist/patient relationship. "Dental anxiety is a real condition," Dr. Antenucci says.  "I encourage my patients to speak to me about their concerns.  If I am aware of their fears, I will work with them."
Reviewed: January 2012