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If dental visits make you uncomfortable, you are not alone. Experts estimate that more than one-third of the population suffers from dental anxiety.
While many pain relief and sedation options are available, many patients still feel fearful at the dentist. One consideration is to remove many of the triggers of dental anxiety by completely changing the treatment method and experience at the dentist with laser dentistry.
About Dental Anxiety
Dental anxiety refers to stress, nervousness, and fear around going to the dentist and receiving dental care. Dental anxiety is distinguishable from dental phobia, which is a severe and irrational fear. Both can cause a person to avoid the dentist, even if they are well aware that oral healthcare is important.
As we mentioned, up to 36% of people experience dental anxiety, and 12% may experience severe dental anxiety. However, even if your discomfort at the dentist doesn’t rise to the level of anxiety, no one should feel uneasy about their care. And that’s one reason laser dentistry is a good option for many patients.
Laser Dentistry Reduces Dental Anxiety Triggers
Laser dentistry can treat a long list of conditions that have required traditional dental treatments for decades. A laser uses concentrated energy to precisely target the treatment area. Unlike some traditional dental tools, lasers provide an entirely different dental experience.
Loud Drilling Sounds
Traditional dental drills and other tools are noisy. We can all imagine the loud sounds of the whirling drill. If that thought increases your heart rate, you may be experiencing dental anxiety.
With laser dentistry, the drilling sound is no longer present. In fact, many patients find the soft pulsing of the laser to be soothing. This quiet treatment environment is far more relaxing than the stress-inducing sounds of traditional dental drills.
Fear of Pain
Fear of pain is very common, and we do all we can to minimize pain and discomfort by using anesthesia. Even though there are multiple options available to reduce or eliminate pain, many patients still fear pain and discomfort. The sensations caused by certain anesthesia options may be unpleasant for some people, and the perception of pain may still be present despite these methods. Unfortunately, certain patients can also experience lingering side effects.
With laser dentistry, certain procedures no longer require anesthesia. In fact, many laser treatments are completely painless. Much of the discomfort from traditional dentistry comes from the friction caused by the drill against the tooth. Lasers do not cause any friction, eliminating the painful sensations associated with it. While your dentist may recommend some pain relief for specific laser procedures, many do not require anesthesia at all.
Seeing sharp tools can also trigger anxiety and fear of pain. Needles and drills can be visually distressing. As we mentioned, the dental laser often does not require the injection of pain relief medication, eliminating the needle entirely. In addition, the laser looks much different from a dental drill. Many find the laser to be far less intimidating than traditional tools.
If you fear blood and bleeding, a dental laser can help with that too. Lasers are more targeted and precise than traditional treatments. In addition, the laser seals blood vessels and promotes clotting, meaning less bleeding overall.
Embarrassment About Oral Health
If you are embarrassed that you haven’t visited the dentist or gotten treatment for a long time due to your dental anxiety, you may continue to avoid the dentist.
Getting over the hurdle of seeing the dentist after a long pause in care can be hard. But knowing that a less stressful method such as laser dentistry is an option can go a long way in getting your oral health back on track.
Let our office know that you experience dental anxiety, and we will work to ease your discomfort and make your time in the dental chair more pleasant.