Dental anxiety affects most people so badly to a point they can’t even get close to a dental clinic. Fears of pain, loss of control or being embarrassed often penetrate their psyche quite deeply and when the angst persists, they usually have a hard time to overcome it.
Such fears can develop in many ways, either through early traumatic experiences or being modelled by family members or friends. Despite the advances in dental technology and pain control measures for the dental treatment procedures, dental phobia remains a prevalent issue.
However, dental practices that regularly use digital tools and advances are offering their patients better services through reduced pain, reduced treatment periods and the ultimate fewer appointments. The use of various systems such as CAM/CAD enhances easy and comforting consultations with patients.
In partnership with dentists, digital dentistry is playing a great role in enabling a sense of control for the patients. Also, it increases awareness concerning how important it is to establish a trustful relationship with the dentist.
So, let’s delve into the different digital devices and procedures that help reduce dental phobia today.
1. Digital radiography/cameras in dentistry
Dental digital x-rays are quite popular in the modern dental practice. The x-ray image features a lot to be desired, offering many benefits that are advantageous to both the patient and the dentist. Some of these benefits include:
Low level of radiation:
Admittedly, the patient is exposed to radiation by the conventional x-rays. Although the x-rays taken by the dentist are typically considered safe, the less the exposure to radiation, the better.
With the digital dentistry revolution, the radiography x-rays are much weaker, leaving a patient exposed to 75% less radiation.
Digital x-ray devices enhance the instant availability of viewing the images taken. The images are produced and then displayed on a computer monitor so there’s no need to develop a film.
The digital devices again help in speeding up the process and it can take up to half an hour depending on the number of teeth x-rayed. This way, the overall cost of dental x-rays will be reduced too as a nice side-effect.
Information is power. Pellucidity between the dentist and the patient can greatly work towards reducing dental anxiety. For this and related purpose, the high-quality digital devices can produce sharp images.
Adding to the enhanced image resolution, the imaging software provides more clarity and details. For example, using Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT), dentists are able to obtain panoramic and 3D images of an entire mouth.
2. Guided Surgery
As stated earlier, the dentist uses the (CBCT) scanner to obtain a scan of the entire mouth of a patient. So, it allows the patient to see their future teeth first in the virtual animation and the guided surgery software decides where to position the implant best. This makes the patients feel reassured, safe and better prepared for the surgery.
Throughout the guided surgery, the dentist refers to the “Surgical Guide” which is a digital tool guiding the surgeon during the surgery, ensuring that the ideal implant position is found without damaging the surrounding anatomical structures within the shortest surgical timeframe possible.
3. 3D Digital Dental Printing
3D is not a mere buzzword, it’s basically how your next bridge or crown might be made. The way it works is straight from science fiction. The 3D printers print a perfect 3D physical representation of an image.
For instance, your dentist might use a 3D dental printer to make a crown or bridge for you, based on a 3D image of your teeth produced on the computer. This reduces wait times as it doesn’t have to be produced in a lab but is instantly created at the clinic. For anxious patients it’s a great solution as no impressions have to be taken.
4. Online Portal for Patients
Patients, nowadays, demand easy and transparent access to their medical data and records. This is largely agreeable as it’s one of the ways to reducing dental anxiety.
Through the digital dentistry revolution, there are cloud based platforms and networks where patients can view their dental records or invoices and send questions or notes to the dental staff.
5. Lasers for Detecting Tooth Cavity
These are dental digital devices to combat the dental phobia. Unlike traditional dentistry where the dentist used the ‘explorer’ to find cavities, an increasing number of modern dentists are now switching to diode laser.
Lasers for surgical procedures are minimally invasive and ensure more effective, less painful and more accurate dental treatments. At Angel Smile we use laser periodontal therapy as supportive technique in conjunction with classical procedures of gum treatment showing promising results for eligible patients. This reduces bleeding, pain and swelling and recovery and healing times are significantly shorter.
Patients with dental phobia find this relieving and are more likely to go for the treatment.
6. Improved filling and bonding materials
Nowadays, bonding materials are made of resin or plastic that usually last longer than the materials used previously. So, if you have a chipped tooth, there’s no reason to fear the dentist. It can be fixed and appear more amazing than it was in the past.
As a result of the broad range of shades in circulation, they can blend the bonding materials much better to the tooth’s natural colour.
Also, when cavities must be filled, most dentists nowadays do away with amalgams, opting for porcelain fillings or a tooth-colour composite that is more natural.
7. New treatments for Gum Diseases
This is another modern approach that can greatly reduce dental anxiety. Many treatments such as cleaning the root surfaces to eliminate plaque and tartar are nowadays helping in reversing the damage with a gentler laser treatment.
Recently, the focus of treatment of gum diseases has significantly expanded further than just removing the bacteria or reducing the pockets. For example, lasers, bone grafts, membranes or proteins, which stimulate the growth of tissue, can be used to regenerate tissue or bone to deal with the gum disease.
8. Improved dental implants
Another reason to get rid of dental phobia is that replacing lost teeth is more reliable and gentler than in the past where implants could often fail. Research shows that today around 95% of implants are successful and less invasive thanks to the guided surgery.
The future of fearlessness
At Angel Smile we invest in modern dental technologies, because we understand what a difference they can make to our patients. More precise diagnostics, shorter and more accurate treatments and less invasive and painful surgeries all help reduce dental phobia.
We take the time to explain every dental procedure to our patients, using computer animation and we find that offering a more transparent dental treatment reassures patients with anxiety.
See this for yourself at our Angel Smile practice in North London. Don’t let fear interfere with your healthy and beautiful smile.