Relationship of anxiety to postoperative tooth extraction

The control of anxiety suffered by the patient prior to wisdom tooth extraction is essential to improve postoperative recovery. The role of the dentist and the maxillofacial surgeon is essential.

Thanks to the words of these professionals, the patient’s nervousness will be reduced. In fact, the prospective study conducted on 88 patients proved this theory. This field work was carried out by experts from the University of Seville and the Virgen del Rocio University Hospital, where around 5,000 extractions are performed annually.

The subjects completed the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory – Trait and Stare test before being informed about the extraction. Afterwards, pain and swelling were assessed by means of a visual analog scale (VAS), which they performed every day at home.

With this procedure, it was affirmed that people who were less informed about the process and about the surgery suffered more nervousness during the surgery, and more pain during the postoperative period. On the other hand, those who were better advised and informed by the specialists were calmer and less affected by pain.

Patients who are going to undergo this surgery can suffer two types of anxiety due to the lack of knowledge about the surgery and the fear of “myths” related to it. These anxieties are as follows:

– Anxiety as a personality trait: professionals should take it into account when explaining the procedure to patients. However, it is not so easy to control.

– State anxiety: this is a consequence of oral surgery, and it is the one that directly influences the patient’s recovery.

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Therefore, dental professionals should offer preoperative information to the patient and explain how the intervention will be. In this way, the patient’s doubts will be resolved, and his or her fears and, therefore, nervousness will be calmed. The correct state of mind of the patient is essential for a good recovery.