The ADA (American Dental Association) has a video podcast series called Straight from the Mouth.
The second video is titled “Overcoming Dental Anxiety.” http://ada.org/straightfromthemouth.aspx
The press release from the ADA on this podcast was posted in September 28, 2009. http://ada.org/3241.aspx. However, it still says on the Straight from the Mouth Video Podcast that many other videos are coming soon. It seems like the ADA may have decided not to have these podcasts come out or they just haven’t posted them. If anyone has any information let me know.
The podcast is hosted by two dentists Ruchi Nijjar Sahota and Eric Grove. It seems appropriate to younger audiences and is upbeat.
The video is important for many of those who suffer from dental anxiety. It discusses needles, drills, and water used for dental procedures.
Needles of course are used to anesthetize nerves to prevent pain during extractions, root canals, and filling cavities.
The dentists chime in to suggest the viewer asks for a gel to be applied and/or to keep the dental instruments out of your vision to help with fear of needles.
Regarding fear of drills, there is a discussion of bringing your MP3 player to help drown out the noise and a mention that an electric drill can be quieter.
Regarding fear of water and potential choking there is a discussion of telling one’s dentist about any water in their mouth that may be causing difficulty breathing, the suggestion of the use of a dental dam, and discussion of a technique to help one breathe with water in their mouth.
Of course the main goal with this video is to encourage those to not neglect their teeth and gums and see a dentist regularly to help with prevention and aid in early detection of any diseases/problems. This of course should be in addition to regularly brushing, flossing, and paying attention to one’s diet.
The truth to the matter is that these dental fears did not just appear out of thin air. Refer to the complications section of this website to see many problems that can occur when extracting a wisdom tooth; however, this can be applied to other extractions and other dental procedures in some cases (although of course not any statistics presented).
When it comes to needles they can in rare cases contribute to permanently damaging a nerve via the anesthetic that is injected into that nerve. In even rarer cases, the needle can break off and require subsequent surgery to remove the fragment.
A drill can damage a plate, severe a nerve, and even leave a permanent lasting scar on the face. Like a needle, a drill bur (dental drill bit) can break off and require subsequent surgery to remove the fragment.
I have not seen any cases of someone choking on water and suffering injury during a dental procedure; however, the feeling of choking should not be taken lightly as a few have choked to their death on cotton rolls. http://www.teethremoval.com/dental_deaths.html
These negative events described are unlikely to occur but have happened in the past and certainly will happen again in the future. Even so, prevention is very important and a check up and dental prophylaxis should be regularly performed by a qualified dental professional.