How to overcome your Dental Anxiety
As dentists, we find that most people dread going for their check-ups, even just visiualising the dental chair is enough to make them shudder! Others dislike the aseptic smell, the sound of the drill, the feeling of the latex gloves rubbing against their teeth or even the invasiveness of it all is enough to put them off going for their check-up!
Dental anxiety or dental phobia is something we deal with in our practice on a daily basis! With our experience, we respect that you may feel nervous and we want to support and guide you through your dental examination in every way possible. Extremely nervous patients who we come across always inquire about sedation. If you are very nervous it doesn’t mean you necessarily need sedation as there are many other options, you can try before resorting to sedation.
1. Let your dentist know beforehand
When booking your dental appointment let them know your concerns and remind them when you show up for your appointment and we will take extra care and be gentler. Be open and honest with your dentist as we like to help your work through your fears. We often ask have you had a previous experience before? What bothers you the most about the dentist? Is it the smell? The waiting part? Embarrassment? We then try our best to combat your concerns. If it is something like the smell – we often light candles in the room or if it’s the waiting around, we will try our utmost to see you on time – as we know waiting around can often enhance a person’s anxiety. Please don’t ever feel embarrassed we are here to help we are more focused on achieving the end result!
To make you feel that more comfortable during your treatment signalling is a great way to communicate with your dentist. We usually agree with our patients beforehand on a signal such as a hand gesture – this way we know you want to stop or take a small break.
- Take Regular Breaks
Agree with your dentist that you’d like to take breaks during your treatment – this is a positive way of reassuring you that you are in control and know exactly what’s going on.
- Start Small
Start with simple procedures such as cleaning, then progress to getting a small filling to take it step by step! This way you’re not launching into something extensive straight away.
We know this one seems obvious but remember to breathe!! If you hold your breath your whole body starts to tense up, which makes the treatment exhausting for you. Try to slow your breathing and control it by doing this it will make you feel more relaxed and the treatment will become more comfortable.
If you feel that all the tips above, just won’t work for you and won’t make a difference then you can consider sedation. Sedation is similar to vallum and will make you feel really relaxed and calm allowing patients to get a bulk of treatment done in just one visit. So how does it work?? IV Sedation is placed into your vein and goes directly into your bloodstream and it has a very profound effect and it’s much strong. It’s doesn’t put you to sleep but it’s a muscle relaxant, so it does affect your sense of memory and time so the whole thing goes by in a flash. Your dentist will be able to guide you through the whole process and also decide whether you are suitable not – most people usually are!
Please don’t ever feel alone, afraid or think that your teeth are the worst in the world because they aren’t. We just want to make sure our patients are comfortable and get the results they set out to achieve. If you’ve any questions please let us know, you can get in touch with us on any of our social media platforms.
Best, Lisa & Vanessa. Xx