For many people, a trip to the dentist can cause undue anxiety. Even though regular dental checkups are essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums, old stereotypes and fears keep some away for years. Wilkes-Barre sedation dentist, Dr. James DeFinnis, suggests that aromatherapy might help calm a nervous patient before a visit.
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils. These oils, called “essential” because they contain the “essence”, or smell, of the plant, are often inhaled after being diffused. Others can be massaged directly onto the skin. Use of these oils can trigger the production of endorphins, which can elevate the mood and promote a calming sensation. Some of the most popular essential oils used in aromatherapy include lavender, rosemary, jasmine, peppermint, and geranium. While few clinical trials exist to prove the effectiveness of aromatherapy, there is much anecdotal evidence of their ability to reduce stress and anxiety. In addition, these oils might also promote improved sleeping and higher energy levels. Partaking in aromatherapy certainly can’t hurt before a dental appointment that you might be nervous about.
Consulting a Professional
For people who have never tried aromatherapy before, it is important to seek the services of a trained aromatherapist. It takes a precise blend of the oils to unlock their full potential, and an aromatherapist is qualified and experienced in producing that blend. It is important to remember that all essential oils must be blended with a carrier oil such as canola or olive. Only a few drops of an essential oil is usually necessary to produce the desired effect. In addition, the aromatherapist will also be well-versed on the potential risks of the essential oils. Many of the oils might potentially be harmful if swallowed. Also, not all oils should be applied to the skin. It is a wise idea to consult a doctor before beginning aromatherapy treatment, as some of the essential oils might react negatively with certain prescription drugs. Inform your aromatherapist of your specific needs – dental anxiety, for example – so the blend of oils can be targeted correctly.
For patients nervous about a trip to the dentist, aromatherapy might just be the way to overcome those fears. If not, however, sedation dentistry might be a viable alternative. For more information about the benefits of sedation dentistry, schedule a consultation with Dr. James DeFinnis at our Back Mountain Dental office at (570) 763-4360. We serve Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Trucksville, Dallas, Forty Fort, Kingston and the surrounding communities.