“Nervous Patients No More,” Says The Dental Fraternity.
No one wants to admit being a coward, but few humans manage a visit to the dentist without some degree of trepidation. Fear of dentists wouldn’t have a name if it weren’t a real deal, so spare a thought for our nervous patients out there. Sometimes labelled Odontophobia, fear of dentists is more commonly known as Dentophobia. This primal fear can be exacerbated by other known fears, such as Iatrophobia, which is a general fear of doctors and Trypanophobia, which is fear of needles.
We wouldn’t be telling you all this if there weren’t fabulous new technologies that at least counter that last one – the needles business and the thought of something spikey pushing into our gums. While it may sound like an impossible dream for nervous patients, researchers have found ways to anesthetise without the trauma. For the dental industry, it has gigantically changed the status quo for those who fear dental work.
Nervous Patients Test the Best Of Dentists
What many can never hope to understand is the passion and skill that dentists have in the work they do. Even a simple filling is not actually a simple affair. Your dentist will be fully absorbed in creating a brilliant representation of occlusal anatomy. Starting with carefully excavating the decay, preparing the hapless tooth with cavosurface margins, the dentist then places adhesive and composite after etching and priming and doing secondary grooves in the marginal ridges for a perfectly executed MOD bonded filling.
All of this means zilch to the nervous patient, who will go home and report how much it all hurt.
New Technology Crosses the Great Divide
The thing with pain is to overpower the neural pain gates. This means fooling our submucosal nerve receptors into closing the gates. Dental injections, in particular, have benefitted from these advances. Computer-controlled local anaesthetic delivery finds a perfect home in dentistry, where traditional injections can cause a great deal of discomfort in some cases.
What we’re actually feeling during the injection process is not just the initial jab upon entry into the gum, but er … spoiler alert for the nervous patient…the progress of the needle towards the intended dumpsite. Despite doing so really slowly and squirting plenty of the anaesthetic along the way to make sure the needle always progresses into tissue that has been somewhat numbed, it is the final delivery into the intended site that is usually the most disconcerting.
Now, thanks to the marvels of technology, instruments that resemble a pen rather than a needle are used which are calibrated to minimise the amount of solution pressure experienced by anyone, never mind our nervous patient comrades.
After effects Are a Thing Of The Past
Nervous patients probably love that their gum remains numb after the dentist has done his job because the anticipation of feeling pain again as it wears off, causes them further distress. But the beauty of today’s new technology is that it has upped the precision to such an extent that only the gum at the site of the tooth being worked on gets numbed. It still means that for a good while after leaving the rooms, the numbness continues to blunt any pain but there is no longer any threat that we may be dribbling out of the one side of our mouth without realising it. There’s no slurred speech or crooked smiles.
We kid you not, dear nervous patient. In fact, we welcome your next visit so that we can ‘wow’ you with a whole new experience in the dentist’s chair. Of course, we do still have to have your jaw gaping wide so we can see what we’re doing and we appreciate your cooperation in that area more than you know, but we can promise that modern technology has not only made our lives a lot easier but yours too.