Even for adults, dental anxiety can be nerve racking. Children who are unacquainted with the setting and who do not fully understand it, there is added stress involved. This is particularly true of children affected by developmental disabilities who thrive on the comfort of routine and familiar places.
Regardless of the anxiety involved, it is necessary to get children to the dentist at least once per year. Researchers may have found a way to reduce the pressures placed on children in that setting. In a study involving thirty-five total children, sixteen of who faced developmental challenges, it was found that when certain modifications were made to the dentists work space, the children showed fewer signs of stress.
Each of the children were assessed during two dental visits. During the first, the atmosphere was much like the average dental office, including the bright overhead light and the typical chair. Children demonstrated many signs of discomfort, including several minutes of anxious behavior once seated in the chair. The kids afflicted with developmental disabilities acted out for nearly twenty minutes longer than those who were not. However, during the second visit, the room was altered. The overhead lamp was replaced with a headlamp donned by the dentist, a soothing color lamp, weighted blanket, calming music, and a vibrating chair were also substituted in for the normal fixtures. This made a significant difference in the children’s behavior, particularly for those with disabilities. Instead of showing signs of stress for more than twenty minutes, on average, the sixteen children were calmed after just nine minutes.
Read more about how to ease child’s dental anxiety
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