For some people, making a dentist appointment is as simple as a three-minute phone call. But for others, making an appointment can be a fruitless exercise in anxiety control, and actually attending an appointment can be even harder. For millions of Americans, the fear of a dental procedure may prevent them from ever getting the oral healthcare they need.
This is why it’s so important to determine what methods can be used to lessen that anxiety and give people access to the care they need, without the crippling fear. Researchers are still trying to pinpoint the best ways to do this.
Music and Dental Anxiety
Research has already shown that music can be effective in reducing preoperative anxiety in patients about to undergo surgery. However, research performed thus far on music as a treatment for dental anxiety has been inconclusive.
There are a number of ways that music can be used to treat anxiety. For example, patients may listen to music on their own before a procedure if they have found it to be calming in the past. Or, medical personnel may offer pre-recorded music to patients to help calm them before or during a procedure. There are even music therapy professionals who can offer music interventions individualized to the patient.
Music therapy professionals may facilitate simple, music-guided deep breathing and relaxation, active efforts to use music to refocus the attention, or music-guided imagery to suit a patient’s needs in the moment.
Previous research into music’s effect on dental anxiety has shown that it can be effective in reducing anxiety, but that it is most effective on patients with moderate dental anxiety rather than severe dental anxiety. There are also a handful of studies that found no correlation between decreased anxiety and the use of music as a relaxant. Unfortunately, the fact that studies continue to clash on this subject means that we cannot conclusively say music is an effective treatment for dental anxiety.
How to Reduce Anxiety at the Dentist
Of course, that’s not to say that music cannot be a part of dental anxiety treatment. Many people find music to be a helpful accompaniment to other forms of dental anxiety treatment. If you think this could help you, you should talk to your dentist about how music can be incorporated into your dental experience.
In fact, there are plenty of steps you can take to lessen dental anxiety, from changing everything from the food you eat to the dentist you visit. If your dental anxiety is very difficult to manage, sedation dentistry can help. It’s easy: Your dentist will provide you with a medication to take before your appointment. You will be awake and aware of your surroundings, but very relaxed. Time will feel like it’s passing quickly, and afterwards you will have little memory of your treatment.
Sedation dentistry is a safe and easy way to get the care you need. Don’t let dental anxiety keep you from having healthy, beautiful teeth. If you’re looking for a sedation dentist in the Orlando area, call (407) 834-6446 or contact us online for an appointment with Dr. Michael L. Weinstock in Altamonte Springs.