Reducing mental distress in patients undergoing dental procedures including hypnosis, relaxation, and counseling

An interesting article titled “Non-pharmacological interventions for reducing mental distress in patients undergoing dental procedures: Systematic review and meta-analysis” by Sophia Burghardt  et al., appears in the Journal of Dentistry in 2018 (vol. 68, pp. 22 – 31). The article seeks to determine the effects of hypnosis, enhanced information, relaxation, music, or cognitive-behavioral approaches on adults undergoing dental procedures. The researchers explored 29 randomized controlled trials and found through random effects meta-analyses significant reduction of mental distress when patients underwent a non-pharmacological intervention. In particular the largest effect was shown for hypnosis. People experience anxiety and fear of going to a dentist and some even have a diagnosable condition of dental phobia. Research shows a general dentist is capable of treating adults with mild or moderate forms of dental anxiety but those with severe dental anxiety or even dental phobia often requires … Read more

Top Do’s and Dont’s To Follow After Tooth Extraction

Tooth extractions are fairly common, but it’s important to get your teeth extracted the right way and follow certain dos and don’ts after the extraction. The after-care process is very important if you want to prevent infection and bone loss. Below are the top do’s and dont’s from Dr. Chaben who is an experienced Livonia dentist from Platinum Dental Care that you should consider following after tooth extraction. Things to Do After Tooth Extraction Immediately after you return home, apply an ice pack to your jaw on the extraction side to reduce swelling. Change the gauze the dentist has packed into your extraction site at least every half hour to prevent infection. Bite down on the gauze for as long as you can, to help the wound clot and start healing. If you continue bleeding for a few hours after … Read more

The ethics of a fair and honest treatment plan

An interesting article titled “The ethics of presenting a fair and honest treatment plan,” is written by Marvin Elwood Rice, appearing in JADA, April 2017, vol. 148, issue 4. The article discusses a dentist who has had numerous occasions in which a relative, past patient, or a new patient has called for a second opinion because of what another dentist has shown them on the oral camera screen. These are patients who take care of their teeth and are familiar with their conditions. In each instance, the patient was in a panic because the dentist enlarged his or her teeth on the overhead screen and pointed to a dark developmental groove or a stained pit and tried to convince the patient that they had a cracked tooth and needed a crown or that the stained areas were active carious lesions and they … Read more

How to Cope with Dental Fear

An interesting article titled “Coping skills for facing dental fears” appears in the February 2017, issue of JADA, vol. 148, issue 2. The article discusses some things you can do if you are afraid of the dentist to help you get through the entire appointment. The first thing the article suggests is to speak up and let the office and dentist know you have dental fear. You can address any coping skills you have used in the past and the dental team may suggest new coping skills that can be tried. You ask the dentist to talk you through what is going to be done for your treatment prior to him or her doing it to help further put your mind at ease. If you need to take a break during treatment you can agree on a signal to use … Read more

Going to the Virtual Beach Improves Dental Experiences

For patients at a dental practice in Devon, England, Virtual Reality encounters in the dental chair can result in demonstrably better experiences. A team of researchers at the Universities of Plymouth, Exeter and Birmingham worked with Torrington Dental Practice in Devon to find out whether virtual experiences could improve the patient’s experience during routine dental procedures such as teeth removal. Patients, who agreed to take part in the study were randomly allocated to one of three conditions: a) standard care , b) a virtual walk around Wembury beach in Devon or c) a walk around an anonymous virtual reality city. Results found that those who ‘walked’ around Wembury beach were less anxious, experienced less pain, and had more positive recollections of their treatment when compared to those in the standard care condition. These benefits were not found for those who walked … Read more