Whether you’re an anxious patient or suffering from dentophobia, we have tips and even remedies to make your next trip to the dentist in Surrey a fuss-free experience.
Fear of the dentist is common, so don’t think you’re alone in how you feel. But as oral health is one of the most important aspects of your overall health, learning how to manage your dental anxiety is essential.
But first, it’s important to understand where the fear of the dentist stems from.
For example, is it connected to emotions related to your teeth or judgement or because of previous bad experiences from youth?
For some patients, dental fear can be so extreme to be regarded as dentophobia, which is similar to a fear of objects, situations or even people – and maybe, in your case, going to the dentist – just as some people might fear and avoid hospitals due to past trauma.
Whatever your issue, we’re equipped here at The Gentle Dental to help you maintain your oral health and, at the same time, make sure you’re relaxed and comfortable.
If you’re a nervous patient because you’ve experienced pain, discomfort and a lack of empathy at previous dental offices, where the sound and noises of dental tools act as a trigger, we can help minimise this for you.
For example, our clinics are set up with TVs on ceilings and are equipped with headphones for you to block out any triggering noises.
Our team are also trained in nervous patient care, and we always talk with you at length to ensure you’re comfortable before beginning – and will check in with you throughout each stage.
This particular fear is something that even I can relate to. Once upon a time, I avoided the dentist for a long time due to a fear of bad teeth and bleeding gums.
Tartar and plaque had built up significantly in my smile, and I had an irritational fear of removing it – because I feared that receding gums, gaps and pockets would be all that was left of the bottom jaw.
But after meeting with the dentist, I learned that treatments existed to avoid the outcomes I feared the most, and knowing that my problems could be easily solved meant that I could undergo treatment to make my mouth healthy again – and now, I write dental articles, just like this one, to help people like you overcome your fear too.
So let me tell you that dentists treat numerous bad teeth cases daily – remember, people have needs when coming to a dentist – and it’s very rare to maintain a perfect-looking smile.
The dentist has seen it all and fixed it before and is not there to cast judgment but to help you feel confident again.
For some patients, getting past dental phobias and anxiety is somewhat impossible – take my sister, for example, who couldn’t even stand to be sat in a waiting room.
When she was younger, being pinned down, in hindsight, only brought about more fear and trauma, and in her later years, when she could make decisions for herself, the dentist was never on her to-do list.
But at some stage, her decaying teeth, which were overcrowded, needed extracting – the worst procedure she could have undergone.
But it was necessary. Her only option was to be sedated, and being fearful of needles, general anaesthesia was also not viable. In the end, oral sedation was her best bet, where she could take a sedative orally and feel relaxed enough to undergo her treatment with no problems.
In extreme, fearful cases, though, another conscious option is intravenous sedation, which is administered through a cannula in the hand or arm.
Once the part of getting the IV in is over, the patient can feel almost instantly at ease, feeling no pain but remaining conscious. You might think that remaining conscious would still bring about fear.
However, this is not the case with IV sedation because you’re left with no memory, and when there’s no memory, there’s no pain.