Dental fear or anxiety prevents many people from seeking the medical attention they need. Given that approximately 36% of the population suffers from dental anxiety to some degree, this fear can have a significant impact on the country’s overall dental health.
Fortunately, various dental technologies give patients a more comfortable experience and encourage them to feel more relaxed during their appointment.
1. Laser Dentistry
The advent of laser dentistry has revolutionized dental care. Because lasers do not cut through tissue in the same way that traditional dental instruments do, they cause less swelling, tenderness, and bleeding. This less invasive method is ideal for people with dental anxiety.
One of the major fears around going to the dentist is the drill because the loud, unpleasant sound and vibrations it makes can be triggering. During laser dentistry, the lasers are much quieter, emitting a low pulsing sound that many people find relaxing.
2. The Wand Computerized Anesthesia Delivery
Another major cause of dental anxiety is the administration of an anesthetic via a needle. It’s estimated that at least 10% of the American population has a fear of needles, impacting their experiences at the dentist.
The wand is an entirely different way of administering anesthetic. This computerized device gradually pushes the anesthetic gently into the gum. Not only is this method relatively painless, but the fact that the wand looks like a pen rather than a needle also makes it much less threatening.
3. DIAGNOdent Laser Cavity Scan
This pen-like laser wand detects hidden tooth decay even at its early stages. In addition to being more accurate, it is safer than X-rays and much less uncomfortable than traditional dental tools, which is a significant benefit for anyone with dental anxiety.
Another benefit of the DIAGNOdent laser cavity scan is that, because it can detect early signs of decay in hard-to-reach places, it allows preventative treatment to begin sooner, helping patients to avoid conditions like cavities entirely.
4. CAESY Patient Education
People tend to be more afraid of the unknown, so learning about what specific dental treatments involve in a non-threatening way can significantly improve their dental anxiety. CAESY provides a visual walkthrough of dental procedures, so there are no surprises when you’re in the chair.
5. Intraoral Camera
An intraoral camera looks like an oversized pen but is a state-of-the-art camera with an incredibly high resolution. It allows your dentist to get the best possible view of your mouth, meaning they can make a more accurate diagnosis.
These cameras are a modern alternative to traditional dentist hand-held mirrors. Because the images are displayed on a screen, they give the dentist a more thorough picture of your oral health. The images also allow your dentist to walk you through what they see, demystifying the process and making it less scary.
6. TVs, Stereo Headphones, and CD Players
Often one of the best ways to keep a nervous patient calm during a dental appointment is to keep them distracted. Music and television in treatment rooms allow patients to concentrate on something else, transporting them out of the dentist’s chair. Headphones are beneficial because they block out the sound of dental equipment.
New Dental Technologies Help Both Patients and Dentists
Dental anxiety plagues many people and stops them from getting the dental care they need. Fortunately, advances in technology, such as those described here, make the experience of visiting the dentist a much more pleasant one, as well as allowing dental professionals to provide an even better service.
At Caputo Dental, we offer a wide range of technologies that can ease your dental anxiety. When you make your appointment, ask us how we can ensure you feel comfortable while you’re with us.