According to Wikipedia, approximately 75% of people experience some degree of anxiety about going to the dentist, with as many as 20% experiencing anxiety intense enough to delay dental care until they are in pain. Because of this anxiety, small problems go unaddressed until they become big problems requiring invasive, usually uncomfortable, expensive dental work. For many of these patients, sedation is needed to help them relax.
Our goal at Brighton Dental is to put you at ease so you are comfortable while we care for your oral health. With this in mind, we are always looking for new ways to ensure your comfort.
When we heard about recent research regarding the ability of aromatherapy to lower anxiety levels, we were intrigued and started offering it to our patients during appointments. Aromatherapy has been used for a variety of problems since ancient times and citrus is well known to alternative medicine for lowering anxiety.
One study that caught our attention was done using orange essential oil on ten boys and twenty girls from six to nine. The children had two separate treatments, each consisting of pain-free treatments that included prophylaxis and sealant. The painless nature of these treatments ensured that discomfort would not skew the results.
Half of the children received the orange aromatherapy during the first treatment and no aromatherapy during the second. The other half received the aromatherapy during the second treatment and nothing during the first.
Anxiety levels in the children were measured both before and after each treatment using their pulse rates and by measuring the amount of salivary cortisol (stress hormone). Both groups of children experienced less anxiety when receiving the aromatherapy than without.
In many people, dental anxiety stems from a previous uncomfortable or painful experience. Anxious patients are more sensitive to pain, making future visits more painful, leading to a neverending cycle of anxiety and pain. Patients may then begin neglecting their oral health, leading to more frequent and severe cavities, and more gum disease.
At Brighton Dental, we believe that your oral health depends on your comfort. This is the foundation of our practice, and the reason we keep looking for new ways to make sure you are comfortable and relaxed.
If you have dental anxiety and finding yourself dreading going to the dentist, do yourself a favor and give Brighton Dental a call today – (619) 640-5100