Patients are anxious when they enter dental clinic, mainly due to fear of pain. The clinic environment matters a lot in controlling patient anxiety. A melodious music running in a clinic, a television showcasing any cartoon or funny videos especially for children, a calm background with light colour walls matters a lot. Medications are used as a last resort for anxiety control. Some of them who outwardly appear normal may also be suffering from severe inner apprehension. A kind, supportive and understanding attitude together with suggestion for control of such feelings is needed.
It is a nondrug technique of causing sedation. A relaxed and pleasant doctor-patient relationship has favorable influence on action of the sedative drugs. A patient, who is comfortable with doctor, responds well to the drugs than patient who is anxious about the doctor and treatment to be done.
Sedatives and tranquilizers are drugs that are CNS depressants and decrease cortical excitability. Both have similar actions reducing abnormal and excessive response to environmental situations that produce agitation, tension and anxiety.
Commonly used benzodiazepines for reducing anxiety are:
Local anesthesia for pain control
Most commonly used for pain control and smooth functioning of the treatment. It is defined as a loss of sensation in a circumscribed area of the body caused by depression of excitation in nerve endings or an inhibition of the conduction process in peripheral nerves. Before administering local anesthesia evaluate patient’s heart rate, blood pressure (BP) and pulse rate.
The use of high speed and ultrahigh speed rotary instruments with sharp burs and coolants result in elimination of pain. Even lengthy and complicated procedures are performed very quickly without any discomfort to the patient.
Hypnosis for pain control
Used to reduce or alleviate apprehension and pain. It is done through suggestion of relaxation. In other words, patient undergoing hypnosis feels relaxed and less fatigued, also the clinician remains in a more relaxed atmosphere. Before applying this technique, the clinician should have awareness about psychological, emotional and mental conditions of the patient.
After the treatment, patient has to be put on pain killers when necessary as local anesthesia effect wears off. Proper medication, empathy from the doctor and kind words will definitely help patient get rid of his / her anxiety.