Hello all, just the other week I had a very very nervous patient in my chair who told me at the end of her appointment that she was meditating all throughout to get her through the hour! It was quite a coincidence that she was in my chair, because the week prior I had a colleague mention about one of her patient’s praying the rosary during their dental hygiene appointment as a form of coping with fear! For my patient, her meditation worked extremely well, and she even mustered up the courage to book back for the rest of her inital periodontal therapy and restorative care.
My particular patient had a background as a spiritual advisor. She explained that meditating involved three things for herself; the breathing, the focus on specific words or mantras (a prayer), and trying to block out any thoughts or ideas past the specific mantras and words. It was a breath of fresh air, no pun intended, to see a form of calming jittery nerve and phobias by ways other than 1 .nitrous oxide 2. ativan 3. or any other sedative. I was very proud of this patient as it took her 4 years to get back into the dental chair. Meditation is a great holistic way to help deal with ones fears, whether they be in the dental chair, an exam to be written, or dealing with a new black diamond ski run!
At Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Dentistry and School of Dental Hygiene, a program was launched in 2008 to help students learn the benefits of meditation in their every day personal and work lives, called the Mindfulness Awareness Training Program. What a great idea, this would have been helpful for sure at my program!
For those who woud like to learn more about meditation techniques, check out the Mayo Clinic’s guide on relaxation techniques for stress busting. It could help you or a friend or family member at the next visit to the dental office!