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Does Music Help Alleviate Dental Anxiety?

Visiting the dentist can be a stressful experience when you have dental anxiety. You often find yourself putting off routine checkups and avoiding dental treatment. There are many ways to deal with this condition, but one of the most effective is listening to music.

Music intervention induces relaxation, reduces stress, and stabilizes blood pressure during an operation. Slow regular, classical music has higher sedative effects for most patients. However, the usefulness of music for alleviating dental anxiety can vary depending on the person’s anxiety level. This may not be recommended for individuals with severe dental anxiety. Thus, referring to professionals similar to 247dental.org is vital in determining the primary cause of your concern. 

Now, let’s find out how music helps with your dental anxiety.

 

How Effective Is Music in Relieving Dental Anxiety?

The anxiolytic effects of music help in soothing patients who feel nervous or discomfort during treatment. By listening to music, you can remain calm and focus less on the loud dental instruments. However, there are some cases where music may not provide the best relief. Although there is evidence on the effectiveness of music for patients with mild to moderate levels of anxiety, its effect on individuals with higher levels of anxiety is inconclusive. 

 

Benefits Of Using Music As Intervention

Induces Relaxation

People with dental anxiety have a hard time calming their nerves before and during a dental appointment. Music elicits emotional changes as well as anxiolytic effects. This helps lower blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate among patients undergoing a surgical operation. 

 

Sedative music may be found in various musical styles. Soft, instrumental music like classical music is known to have a calming effect on people in many stressful situations. You can experiment with different types of music before setting an appointment. Then, build a playlist for the ones that work for you.

 

Reduces Anticipatory Anxiety

Anticipatory anxiety is a common experience for patients with dental anxiety. Many individuals who suffer from this disorder have trouble resting the night before an appointment or feel worn out after the treatment. 

 

Music can serve as a distraction for your thoughts when awaiting a dental procedure or examination. It’s an effective tool to pacify your anticipatory anxiety. You should play the music before entering the clinic, this way you can completely block out the noises while waiting in line. 

 

Diverts Attention from Pain and Discomfort

Music masks fear-enhancing noises from dental instruments. It helps in diverting feelings of discomfort, stress, and fear; and distracts attention from pain. However, some procedures may be too overwhelming, and music may serve as pain-inducing instead. In this case, you may want to ask your dentist for other ways to deal with your concern. 

 

Helpful Tips On Using Music As Diversion

Choose Your Preferred Genre

Listening to your preferred music lifts your mood and helps you gain control over any discomfort. Using your own music may also make the environment more familiar and less stressful. If you want to feel relaxed, you can listen to a variety of sedative music such as melodies and harmonies; or nature sounds such as the sound of the rain or the singing of the birds. 

 

Focus On The Music

You should put your attention on the music. This way you can avoid focusing on what the dentist is doing. If you’re listening to classical music, you might even fall asleep and discover the appointment is over once you wake up!

 

Use Noise-Canceling Headphones

Music removing anxiety

Headphones are useful for blocking dental sounds. However, this may induce more stress to some patients as it hampers communication with the dentist. In this case, you can use noise-canceling headphones to fully mask the loud dental tools and a microphone to communicate with the dentist. 

 

Final Thoughts

Music is indeed a proven way of alleviating anxiety related to dental procedures. However, you must note that it also depends on your pain tolerance. If you are a highly anxious person, music intervention may not work for you. Thus, it’s always safer to discuss with your dentist the best strategies to deal with your anxiety.