Press ReleasesDentists Provide Solutions to Make Patients Comfortable During Visits
CHICAGO (November 19, 2007) - Does anesthesia make you antsy? Does the chair make you cringe? If so, you're not alone – fear of the dentist is a common one. So much so, in fact, that more than 20 million Americans avoid going to the dentist because of fear, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Thanks to advancements in the profession and a greater understanding of people's fears, however, consumers no longer have to avoid the dentist because of anxiety, according to an article in the July 2007 issue of AGD Impact, the
Start by eating foods high in protein and avoiding caffeine. Foods high in protein produce a calming effect, unlike sugary foods. Also, some dentists prescribe and administer medication to help patients relax, the most common being a mixture of laughing gas and oxygen. Sedation is safe when administered by dentists who are trained in its use, so patients should discuss the methods and risks. The best defense against anxiety is knowledge; patients should discuss their treatment options, request informational materials and voice their concerns.
"Anxiety can actually contribute to additional dental problems," says AGD spokesperson Charles Perle, DMD, FAGD. "Phobias, panic attacks and anxiety can all lead to canker sores, dry mouth, burning mouth syndrome as well as other problems. Patients should visit the dentist regularly to ensure that dental problems are caught early."
How to stay calm prior to dental treatment:
• Pick up the phone. Your dentist's office staff has been trained in caring patient services; they will inform you of what to expect and answer your questions to ensure your confidence and comfort during your visit.
• Relax. When they are nervous, some people tend to hold their breath, which decreases oxygen levels and increases feelings of panic. Focus on breathing regularly & slowly.
• Eat up. Consuming high-protein foods produces a calming effect, unlike sugary foods.
• Skip the caffeine. Avoiding caffeine before a dental appointment can make you less anxious.
• Communicate. Use hand signals to inform the dentist that you are uncomfortable, and talk to your dentist about your specific fears.
The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) is a professional association of more than 35,000 general dentists dedicated to staying up-to-date in the profession through continuing education. Founded in 1952, the AGD has grown to become the world's second largest dental association, which is the only association that exclusively represents the needs and interests of general dentists. A general dentist is the primary care provider for patients of all ages and is responsible for the diagnosis, treatment, management and overall coordination of services related to patients' oral health needs. Learn more about AGD member dentists or find more information on dental health topics at www.KnowYourTeeth.com.
Note: Information that appears in General Dentistry, the AGD's peer-reviewed journal, AGD Impact, the AGD's newsmagazine and related press releases do not necessarily reflect the endorsement of the AGD.
*For a complete list of oral health and industry press releases, visit the AGD News Releases.Need help?
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