Got Needle Phobia? Here’s How You Can Overcome Your Next Dental Appointment

A dental patient

For patients who are scared of needles, going to the dentist can be traumatic. They even put off getting their teeth checked because they dread the needle. Fortunately, dentists who specialize in oral care for anxious patients can help.

If you have a fear of the needles, you are not alone. Twenty-one percent of the world population has a needle phobia, and this percentage is increasing. Vaccination schedules in which a child receives as many as five or six shots in one visit contribute to the rise in the number of people with needle phobia. The age at which the phobia begins is also lowering. Now, kids aged five develop the fear of needles.

Children who have needle phobia grow into adults. And these are the adults who avoid routine medical and dental care. In turn, conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, or tooth infection may go untreated for a long time.

Needle-Free Dental Care

Walker Pediatric Dentistry says there are now available needle-free dental services in Salt Lake City and other cities for anxious dental patients. Jet injectors disperse anesthetic submucosally, so no sharps are required. These devices don’t look like traditional needles, so they don’t trigger panic attacks. They also have the added advantage of diffusing the anesthetic quicker than traditional needles. This potentially reduces the amount of time in treatment because the dentist can start the treatment faster.

Above all, there is less discomfort associated with jet injectors. The pain of the needle entering the skin is often the cause or trigger of needle phobia — and that is not present when your dentist uses jet injectors.

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Calming Techniques

Apart from the use of needle-free devices, dentists also perform other techniques to calm anxious patients. These include:

  • Creating waiting areas with a warm atmosphere.
  • Placing TV sets above the examining chair to distract the patient with positive images.
  • Providing oral sedation, a procedure that does not put the person to sleep but will take away any concern he or she has over the procedure.

With these modern dental devices and techniques, people with needle phobia can get their teeth checked without fear.