Wednesday, October 8, 2008

New hope for dental anxiety

I just read this article about a device developed by a dentist in Cedar Falls. Basically, the patient puts in some headphones and listens to soothing sounds (beach, forest, etc.). The device they ever-so-cleverly dubbed the "b-Calm" is supposed to "blend the frequency of the dental drill with recordings of nature sounds." I dunno, do you think it's worth a try? Does the sound of the dental drill really bother any of you?

Another article I read a couple weeks ago claimed that the scent of lavender in the waiting room had a calming effect on patients waiting to receive dental care. Personally, I think if I spent my whole career smelling lavender and listening to soothing ocean noises I'd end up a bit fruity, but any current or future patients of mine are more than welcome to inhale their own lavender and listen to soothing sounds on their Ipods when I'm working.

Here's a picture of a guy who definitely had dental anxiety. It looks like he's in a ton of pain, right? Well I can assure you, he looked like that the second he knew he was going to get a shot, not when he felt the needle. I kept stopping and asking (in my very limited Spanish) if it hurt. He'd look at me and say no, it was fine, but then go back to gripping the seat and closing his eyes really tightly as though I was torturing him. Poor guy.

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