Beyond Novocaine and Medications: Three Options to Help You Relax in the Dental Chair

5 May 2017
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

Dental work is often mis-characterised as painful, but this tired old story simply isn't true anymore. Now you can use local anesthesia to completely eliminate pain during dental work as well as nitrous oxide to keep you relaxed. If you have a lot of anxiety, there are even intravenous sedatives that can prevent you from feeling pain during dental work.

Beyond, that, however, there are also relaxation techniques and ideas you may want to consider.

1. Meditation

Meditation along with hypnosis is considered an effective pain reliever in many circumstances. People use these techniques in the dental chair, in labour and birth centres, and even in surgeries. Essentially, you clear your mind and enter a deep state of relaxation.

This helps you stay calm and avoid the perception of pain. However, you don't want to start meditating in the dentist's chair. Meditation is a learned skill, and you should practice in the days and weeks leading up to your dental work.

If you opt for hypnosis, you will need a partner to help you. That person simply guides you through the mental exercises, but you will want to ensure that the dentist has room for that individual in the exam or surgery room.

2. Ear Plugs

When you have local anesthetic like novocaine for your dental work, you truly can't feel the work being done — note that different people need different levels of anesthesia, and you may have to ask for more if you can still feel what's going on.

However, even after being numbed, some people still feel like they can feel pain. In most cases, this is a psychosomatic reaction, and it's often made worse by the sounds of dental equipment. To block out those sounds, consider wearing ear plugs. Alternatively, you may want to consider ear phones connected to your favorite relaxing music.

3. Essential Oils

It's also relatively easy to use some essential oils whilst in the dentist office. In particular, you may want to dab a bit of lavender oil on your temples — dilute the oil in an oil carrier rather than applying it directly to your skin. Then, odours will waft to you as the dentist works, and they will help you to relax.

If a dentist is open to the idea, you may even want to bring an essential oil dispenser so that the entire room can fill with these relaxing odours. After you return home, you can rub diluted clove oil directly on your gums if you experience any pain or tenderness.

For more information or advice, contact a dentist.