It is quite easy to understand why some people feel a bit anxious as an appointment with the dentist draws near. After all, many people still hold the perception that dental procedures can be uncomfortable and may even be painful. While the perception is still fairly common, it is one that is entirely unfounded and may lead to patients missing out on necessary dental care. Even the procedures that once had a reputation for leading to significant discomfort have been so vastly improved that patients are quite surprised to find that these anxiety-inducing procedures are hardly worth the pre-appointment worry.
Even though the anxiety many patients feel before an appointment is due to erroneous or outdated beliefs about dental procedures, it does not mean that being able to allay a sense of worry in advance of the appointment is an easy task. For most people, a bit of research into the nature of the procedure they are scheduled to undergo will be more than enough to calm their nerves before heading to the office. The younger segment may benefit from an added incentive to go with the accurate information, so a baseball fan in need of dental work may be far less anxious with the promise of a dream vacation that begins with spring training transportation.
For others, the concern may be a bit greater and will require a more involved approach. This may mean speaking with a dental professional well in advance of the appointment to go over the procedure, or it may be as simple as speaking with someone who has recently undergone a similar procedure. There is another group of individuals, however, that feel a more acute feeling of anxiety that requires a more nuanced approach. When the feeling of anxiety becomes so great that it feels almost paralyzing, it is important to seek out a form of therapy that reduces these feelings so that necessary dental work can be completed.
Through the use of cognitive behavioral therapy, researchers have found that as few as six sessions can reduce anxiety to a degree that patients are able to overcome their feelings of fear in order to receive the treatment they need. In some of these cases, patients needed to have sedation before being able to undergo dental procedures. After the therapy sessions, the majority of these individuals no longer needed sedation and were far better equipped to deal with the stress they felt before their appointment.
The reason this type of therapy works so well is due to the fact that the goal is not to entirely eliminate the feelings of anxiety, but rather to help the individual cope with those feelings in a more effective manner. The anxiety will be present or will return at some point before or during the procedure, but the patient will be better equipped to manage their emotions so they are able to experience firsthand just how comfortable dental procedures are and how their fears may have been wholly based on misconceptions.
Of course, not everyone feels anxiety before a dentist appointment, but it is still necessary to understand the procedures and to prepare accordingly. Patients in need of dental care should be able to clearly outline any dental issues they may be concerned with and should be prepared to ask any questions they may have regarding their appointment. As for long-term preparation, regular dental care is obviously critical for avoiding some of the more serious dental issues, and those who brush twice daily and floss regularly are far more likely to enjoy continued dental health.
Stop for a moment and think of your greatest wealth. Is it your car? Your watch? Your home, maybe? What if I told you that you’re wrong if you answer yes to any of those? The greatest wealth you have is your health. Your health cannot be purchased and once it goes downhill, it’s usually game over for you which is why taking care of yourself is highly important for a healthy life.
The subject of health isn’t one that many people connect with because there are so many things that go into living a healthy lifestyle, depending on who you talk to. Some people will say to exercise 15-30 minutes every day or at least get your heart rate up somehow. Other people will say eating your leafy greens is the way to go and to avoid red meat, but healthy gym goers will argue red meat is crucial to a strong body. Many other details go into living a healthy life and can again vary depending on who you speak with. Other health tips are:
Sleep at night and do not eat ANYTHING 1 hour before bed.
Make sure to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep, but no more than 9 hours.
Sleeping during the day is bad for health (which is bad news for 3rd shift workers).
As you can probably understand, living a healthy life is confusing and complicated. Who is going to remember all this stuff every day? It would also seem living a healthy life would be stressful, so who do you go to when you want the plain simple truth and facts of staying healthy? Dr Raouf Farag along with many others are highly skilled and gifted in their knowledge and practice of good health and good health habits. If anyone can clear up the confusion and give you a plain and simple plan to follow through with every day, Dr. Raouf Farag is about as good of a choice as any if not better.
If you were to ask a personal trainer to give you a workout plan, this is also going to get complicated. They will want to do a series of tests on your body and probably even DNA tests to understand what foods your body works well with. Jim is unable to have carbs because they cause bloating, however, James is able to eat as many carbs as he wants because his DNA allows for it. This is just the tip of the iceberg of how complex health is and depending on your body type, body shape, structure, DNA, genetics, lifestyle, and much more, you are going to be given a program that is different than someone else. In any case, do whatever it takes to protect your health, the greatest wealth you have.
I love my patients, especially the children. The children always bring a smile to my face, but sometimes it can be a struggle to bring a smile to theirs. Children have this fear of dentists, so it is imperative that we do everything we can here at Karl Jobst DDS to ensure the children are leaving happier with conquered fears and healthier smiles.
What tactics do you fellow dentists use to get your young patients to smile or much less, relax? For me, I found that showing them David Kravitz Snapchat typically helps. I let them use my phone while I do my work. I know, that sounds crazy to most people, so you’re not alone in that thought. The last thing most people will do is let a child handle their phone, but understand this psychology, if you’re a “scary dentist” the last thing a child wants to do is upset you.
I’m not going to lie, the Snapchat thing wasn’t my idea. It was more of my assistant’s idea. She says her children watch David Kravitz Snapchat all the time and it’s hilarious enough to make them laugh. I thought, “Hey, what have I got to lose?” You know what? It worked for me. This is a new tactic I have just started using on my scared kids and I’ll admit, his Snapchat is pretty funny. It’s tools like this that make jobs like mine so much easier and more fun to do.