Relaxation Techniques

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The stresses of going to the dentist can cause severe anxiety in a person. Why is this?

Pain, feelings of helplessness and loss of control, embarrassment, negative past experiences can all cause anxiety when going to the dentist. People who are 24 years and older who suffer from fear of pain avoid the dental office because when they visited the dentist as a child there was no “pain-free” dentistry. The helplessness and loss of control come from having to sit still and not being able to see what is going on. Allowing someone to look in your mouth can be intimate. Having a stranger look in it can be embarrassing because it is an intimate part of the body and the dental personnel are only inches away. If a person had a negative experience in the past they can be more anxious the next time they visit the dentist.

We as dental assistants can help people with dental anxiety overcome their anxiety once they do come into the office and we get them in the chair. We can educate ourselves on relaxation techniques. We can utilize the relaxation techniques in the office and teach them to our patients. We can explain the procedures that are going to be performed and what the dentist is going to do in a calm and confident voice. We can maintain a tranquil and secure environment in the office and in the patient's room.

A way we can help our patients in the office to relax is to have a candle burning with lavender oil. The smell of lavender is soothing and can reduce ones anxiety level from about a 10 to a 7. “In King’s College in London, 340 people were exposed to lavender oil scent before the dental treatment started and it was found out that this people has less tension and feel more relax about the dental procedure they are going to undergo.”

We can talk to our patients. Ask them what their thoughts and concerns might be before any treatment begins. Once we know what is going on in there head, we can comfort them. Put them at ease about the...
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