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Dental Fear 15 – Choking

Here’s How To Overcome
Dental Fear # 15: Choking

Patients can have a fear of choking over a number of things, be it their own saliva, or the water being used in some of the dental equipment even some of the materials, particularly impressions. 

There are ways round each one of them.  With their own saliva it is generally that they are not getting the opportunity to swallow, be that they are lying back in the chair too far, so we ask the patient just simple communication, “Are you comfortable sitting there?”  

If not, the dentist should make an effort to get the patient in a comfortable position that they can work in.  

With the instruments, if the patient feels they don’t like so much water being at the back of the mouth you can use an instrument called rubber dam. 

What that does is it makes the tooth isolated from the rest of the mouth and against the sheet of rubber any of the water will fall which can easily be removed by the dental nurse. 

Again, with impression materials we now have the new tooth scanners that are able to carry out a lot of the work especially when we are doing crowns, bridge and implant work. 

With these we can avoid the need for any impressions which generally create that concern, the gagging and a fear of choking during their treatment.  But again and again it is communication. 

If a patient needs stop signals they’re allowed to lift their hand up, they’re allowed to use the dental button and anything that they can control to let the dentist know that they would just like a break, like a rest and if it is managed properly it should never get to the stage where a patient feels they are going to choke.

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Smile Advisor Team

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