How To Eliminate Tooth Extraction Anxiety
It would only make sense that in order to avoid or eliminate tooth extraction anxiety, one would need to avoid or eliminate the need to have one’s tooth extracted. That does not, however, mean ignoring the fact that you need a tooth removed. What it refers to is taking better care of your teeth so that the need for extraction would never exist. Of course, we know full well that good oral hygiene simply isn’t possible in all of the people, all of the time. So, what can a person truly do to deal with the anxiety which can result from the knowledge that they must have a tooth extracted?
Fear of dentists is real. Technically, it’s referred to as dentophobia. Among people of all ages, it is one of the most common phobias. It can be severe and devastating, mild and slightly inconvenient, and everything in between. The knowledge that you not only have to visit a dentist but have a tooth extracted is just too much for some people to handle.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some ways to eliminate, or at least lessen, tooth extraction anxiety.
How to Confront Your Fear
People worry about different things for different reasons where tooth extraction is concerned. They may worry about a lack of confidence resulting from an empty space in their teeth. They might be concerned about pain. Most times, whatever the issue, it is addressable through discussion with your dentist and by acquiring much-needed information.
Empty sockets can be filled with implants. Pain can be eliminated through the use of anesthetics. Should you experience pain during the procedure, notify your dentist immediately. If the pain is too much to handle post-extraction, call your dentist and let them know.
Additionally, your dentist will let you know when it’s time to discuss reconstruction and repair if needed.
Having the information you need is the best way to dissuade your fears and anxiety. Never be afraid to ask questions. The more in control you are of what is going on, the better you will feel about it. A good dental professional will make your experience as stress-free as possible and help you deal with your anxiety.
It may help to reduce anxiety if you know how to take care of yourself after the extraction. Follow these rules:
- For one to two days, eat soft foods and avoid using a straw to drink.
- Do not brush the extraction site itself but continue to brush around the site of the extraction.
- Gently rinse with a salt solution (mild).
- Calm down – don’t panic. That empty socket is going to look like it has a lot of blood coming from it. After the first 2 to 3 hours, it should not bleed heavily. For a couple of days, however, it may bleed on and off. If you’re truly concerned, contact your dentist.
- Control the bleeding with clean gauze. You can change it every hour, if need be.
- Rest up. It’s okay to stay home from work or school if you have a tooth extracted. For at least 12 hours, rest your body.
- Do not take aspirin. This thins the blood.
- If painkillers are prescribed, make sure you take them at the proper/prescribed time. Check with your dentist when in doubt.
Whatever You Do, Avoid These
If you had a tooth extracted, there are certain things you need to avoid. These can include the following:
- Touching, picking at, or playing with the wound.
- Do not probe the open wound with your tongue or anything else. This may seem ridiculously obvious, but you’d be surprised how hard it is to avoid!
- Though it can be difficult, sneezing and coughing should be avoided if possible.
- Alcohol and cigarettes need to be put off for the time being (if not entirely).
At Real Smile Dental, one of the most common dental procedures is tooth extraction. Our experienced, caring professionals will see to it that your tooth extraction requires a minimal amount of aftercare, is as painless as possible, and goes as quickly as it can. If you do indeed have a fear of dentists, or are extremely nervous about having a tooth extracted, let us know ahead of time. We’ll do everything we can to ease your trepidation. Contact us today to find out more.