No matter how brave we may be, we have all felt the overwhelming dread often accompanying a trip to the dentist’s office at some point in our lives and there are actually several important reasons to visit.  However, it’s likely that we have experienced the sudden relaxation of actually being in the dentist’s chair as well, after an uncomfortable episode of pre-appointment worries.

While the most anxiety-panged patients may often feel as though their dentist is insensitive to their worries, the truth is that many oral care professionals are just as concerned about our comfort as they are about the well being of our teeth!

Unbeknownst to many of us, dentists are constantly incorporating subtle methods to ease our tension and make the cleaning experience an enjoyable one for everybody.  Next time you’re saddled in for a routine checkup, keep your eyes and ears open for the following calming techniques commonly employed by dentists.

Soothing Music

The clinical benefits of music therapy are well documented, and there are few places where they are as useful as in the office of a dentist.   The right music can assist in lowering blood pressure and reducing your heart rate – in general, it can make you much calmer.  In the same way that music is employed in elevators or when on hold, music can also help make the whole checkup go by in a flash!

Pink Noise

Pink noise refers to soothing, subtle sounds such as running water.  If you’ve ever felt the serenity of being near a waterfall amidst a busy crowd at a mall or park, you probably understand this feeling.  In addition to providing the benefits of calming music, pink noise also provides benefits in the form of reduced anxiety.  This makes it a perfect addition to the dentist’s arsenal of calming techniques, as anxiety is the most prevalent symptom among those with dental phobia.

Pain Management

It goes without saying that a painful dental checkup is certainly not a stress-free one.  Modern dentistry has a myriad of tools at their disposal designed specifically to lessen your pain, making dental work far more comfortable than it has ever been in decades prior.  Everything from local and general anesthetics, to medications, to better techniques, in general, are available to ease any discomfort you may experience while in the dentist’s chair.

Coloured Glasses

Doctor and Patient wearing colored glassesThere’s nothing relaxing about having bright light streamed into your eyes like an interrogation, and yet that’s exactly what it feels like when staring up at that light in the dentist’s chair.  To combat this, dentists will often provide their patients with colored glasses.  The benefits are numerous; they help reduce the glare of the lighting, protect the patient from tools and fluids, and can even play into the psychology of calming colors.

Open Communication

Dentists see stressed out patients come and go every single day, often multiple times a day.  As such, they usually pick up a thing or two about easing people’s worries through the power of conversation.  By being supportive and acknowledging a patient’s fear, dentists can often alleviate a patient’s anxiety just by talking!  If you’ve ever noticed that your dentist’s small talk lulls you from an anxious mess into a state of security, rest assured that it is not by accident.