3 Real Ways People Cope With Dental Anxiety

Do you dread going to see the dentist? You’re not alone. Surveys estimate between 13 and 24 percent of people have some form of dental anxiety.

Fortunately, that also means people have come up with all kinds of real ways to cope with dental anxiety. Try one of these techniques the next time you’re facing the dental chair – you might just find one that works for you.

1. Laugh Before You Go In

Laughter is a proven form of stress relief. The act of laughing releases endorphins, gets your lungs to take in more oxygen-rich air, and aids muscle relaxation. Plus, it helps to take your mind off of distracting and troubling thoughts, like the ones that plague you in the waiting room.

When you head out for the dentist, bring along a pair of headphones and a laugh-out-loud TV show, audiobook or podcast on your phone. Try to have a laugh while you’re waiting to be called. This will help to prepare your mind and body for the task ahead.

2. Listen to Soothing Music

Music has a unique link to our emotions, making it a powerful stress management tool. It draws our attention away from gnawing anxiety, and can even slow our pulse, heart rate, blood pressure, and stress hormone levels.

Many dentists have caught onto this, and give patients the option of listening to soothing sounds while they’re in the chair. If that’s not available, ask your dentist whether you can listen to your own favourite tunes on your phone or mp3 player. This small effort can make a big difference in your stress level.

3. Ask Questions

Wait…what’s that tool for? Why’s it making that sound? Is this going to hurt?

For many people, fear of the unknown is a big part of dental anxiety. While we usually know what to expect from an appointment in general, the details are often a mystery until it’s well underway.

If you’re one to fret about dental work, it’s worth taking the time to ask the dental hygienist or dentist for more information. Knowing exactly what to expect can take a huge weight off your shoulders. A good provider will know it’s worth the extra few minutes.

Why Isn’t There Universal Dental Care in Canada?

Almost half of all Canadians pay for dental care out-of-pocket.
Almost half of all Canadians pay for dental care out-of-pocket.

Suppose you wake up one morning with a splitting headache. In most cases, you can trust that the doctor will treat your condition regardless of your ability to pay. After all, Canada’s universal health care system (called Medicare) provides equal access to medical services for all Canadians.

That is, unless, the pain stems from a toothache.

People outside Canada are often surprised to learn that our universal health care system stops where the teeth meet the gums.

Dental care in Canada is almost entirely privately-funded, with 51% coming from employment-based dental insurance and 44% paid out-of-pocket. The remaining 5% consists of the few Canadians who receive support from the federal or provincial government, like low-income children, members of the armed forces, and some aboriginal groups.

Unfortunately, this system leaves millions of Canadians without the care they need, including the ones who need it most. Almost half of all Canadians without dental insurance (over six million people) skip going to the dentist due to the cost.

Immigrants, the elderly, children, and adults working low income jobs are most likely to avoid the dentist for this reason. They are also the groups most likely to have problems with tooth and gum disease due to limited access to healthy foods, which increases the risk of other health problems like diabetes.

That means those who are most in need of dental treatment are least likely to be able to get it.

 

Why Canada Doesn’t Pay for Dental Care

When Canada created Medicare back in 1966, legislators did consider including dental care as part of the system. However, social and economic forces kept dental care in the private realm.

Dentists lobbied for a private system, arguing a lack of human resources and a desire to keep the government out of the patient-practitioner relationship. The government anticipated the cost of universal dental care in Canada would be too high, as the U.K. saw 16% of the population seek dental treatment when it was brought into the National Health Service. There were also alternatives, like water fluoridation, that could help promote good oral health for less cost.

For these reasons, the government left dental treatment out of the universal health care system.

Today, there is some public assistance available. All provinces and territories pay for in-hospital dental surgery, and some have prevention programs for children. Still, Canada spends just $700 million on publicly funded dental care each year, one of the lowest rates in the world.

Universal dental care would be a massive undertaking in Canada. In the meantime, the government should do more to ensure everyone has reasonable access to dental care. For example, putting more public dental clinics in hospitals and community health centers could help fill the gaps in access to treatment. More financing for vulnerable groups, like low-income children, could treat and prevent dental issues before they become serious and costly issues.

Dentists Investing in Quality Care Tools

We look to our dentists as guides on the road to dental health. While it is up to us to maintain our own oral hygiene to the best of our abilities through regular brushing, flossing, and oil pulling, in the end, it is the dentist and the hygienist who determine whether we have done a good job.

Most of us probably do not give much consideration to the equipment our dentist uses, but one can usually tell when it is lacking. If that is the case, the dentist is likely cutting corners or not using quality dental equipment providers. This reduces their ability to give your teeth proper treatment and can even lead to problems down the road for you.

You might not be able to spot quality dental instruments when you see them, but as a client, you have the right to ask your dentist about the equipment they are using on you. You can ask such questions as:

  • How often do you clean your equipment?
  • How often are the drill heads replaced?
  • How many times can my mouth be X-rayed before there could be excessive radiation exposure?

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While a dentist and their hygienist(s) are highly trained, they are really no different than any other professional who provides you with a service. Do you feel intimidated asking your mechanic about the parts they use on your car? Probably not. Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist questions about their equipment and practices.

Chances are, they will be happy to provide the answers you seek. If they are evasive or rude about such a basic question, that is not a good sign. Any professional should be open about the way they work, so if answers are not forthcoming that meet your satisfaction, it might be time you consider switching providers.

Medical ID Bracelet For People With Medical Condition

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The medical id is very useful especially if you have medical condition. The medical emergency id can be accessed by any responder because of the ID code that engraved to the bracelet which all important information of the patient are present. The emergency medical id for wallets and id tags sterling silver or gold that only professional health worker will recognize that it is not just an accessory.

Having medical id bracelet is use for patient safety purposes. It is a bracelet to identify medical conditions people might have. The engraved code itself get the attention of the emergency personnel and he/she can provide the suitable medical assistance. The medical id is available with pre-engraved illnesses or can be custom engraved with your particular medical histories and have the advantage of that all info is self-sufficient and does not oblige any form of equipment to view in situation of an emergency.