Are you nervous? fear no more!
Is it normal to be afraid of the dentist?
Yes, more than 50% of the population feel nervous about a trip to the dentist, it can vary from a slight butterflies in the stomach or as severe as panic attacks at the other end of the spectrum.
It will be helpful to figure out what you are afraid of during your visit to the dentist Maybe the sounds and smells bring back memories of bad experiences as a child, or the anticipation of pain during the treatment.
The good news is that at Caspian Dental Clinic, we understand our patients' fears, and with a combination of empathy, patience and gentleness, we can make dental treatment an acceptable, normal part of life.
I have not been to the dentist for a long time – is it changed?
If you have not been to see a dentist for some time, you will probably find that things have improved a lot since your last visit. Dental techniques and materials have improved so much over the last few years that dental treatment can now be carried out completely pain free.
The treatment approach has changed from focusing on treatment to a preventive approach in modern dentistry. The dental team will aim at making you dentally fit and keep you that way by giving you correct advice and booking you for regular check-ups and hygienist appointments.
Using a fluoride toothpaste will help to strengthen your teeth and prevent decay. If you have been using fluoride tooth paste and have had a low sugary diet, you may be surprised how little treatment you may need. It is important to keep up your regular visits to the dentist, not only to monitor tooth decay, but also to help prevent gum disease. Once your mouth is healthy, your visits to the practice will often just be easy sessions for checking and cleaning.
How do I choose a dentist?
Many dentists today offer some form of treatment for nervous patients.
A dentist who is personally recommended by another nervous person is usually a very good choice. There are practices specialised in dealing with extremely nervous people, to join such a practice you may need to travel some distance, but it will be worth the effort when you are no longer afraid.
How do I start?
It may be helpful for you to look at the practice’s website to familiarise yourself with the interior of the practice and staff, do they look cheerful and happy? Does it give you a feeling of confidence? Also read the patients’ feedback, see what other patients have experienced during their visits. Call in to speak to the receptionist, and see what the atmosphere is like. Perhaps you could meet the dentist and have a look around the practice as a visitor.
What will happen at the first appointment?
Your first appointment should just be for a consultation. See it as an opportunity for you to come to know the dentist, receptionist and dental nurse, and have a chat about what to expect next. Make sure that the practice knows you are nervous, so that they can help you. Tell your dentist what it is that you particularly feel nervous about dental treatment. If you think you know the reason, tell your dentist what may have caused your fear.
I am afraid of injections, what can I do?
Many people are scared of the local anaesthetic injection needed to numb the tooth. There are anaesthetic gels that can be applied to the area of the gum to be injected. This gel numbs the gum so that you cannot feel the needle.
What can I do to make the best of my visit?
- Book appointments at a time of day when you feel at your best, and when you do not have any other commitments to worry about. Allow plenty of time so that you can get to the practice in a relaxed frame of mind - arriving in a rush will only make you feel more nervous. It is usually best to have something to eat before you go, so there is no chance of you feeling faint while you are in the chair.
- Take a friend with you People often feel better if a friend comes with them to the practice. Think about what would suit you best. A reassuring and capable friend is often a great help.
- Take something comforting with you, like your music or favourite teddy. Listening to music is also a good way to help you relax. Some practices have it playing in the treatment rooms, but the best way is to take a personal stereo so that you can have your own choice of music.
- Take things one step at a time Take things one step at a time. Discuss any proposed treatment with your dentist, and start with a simple treatment to acclimatise yourself back to the dental treatment sessions.This may be no more than an examination . If you succeed with that, you may feel you could have your teeth polished next, possibly by a dental hygienist. Don't be afraid to say when you have had enough - there is usually no reason to hurry through the dental treatment.
- Try to distract yourself during your treatment session. Try to solve a puzzle in your mind, or perhaps work out a plan for each day of next year's holiday. Or give yourself something tricky to do - try to wiggle each toe in turn, without moving any of the others.
Can I ask the dentist to stop if I need to?
Yes.Agree with your dentist a sign that means ‘stop now - I need a break' before the treatment is started. Usually you can just raise your hand, and the treatment can be stopped for a few minutes until you are ready to start again. Once you know that you can control the situation you will feel more confident.
What other techniques are available to help?
- Relaxation/meditation techniques
- Sedation: You need to check if your chosen dental practice provides any forms of the sedation:
- Inhalation sedation (gas and air)
- Intravenous sedation (by injection)
- Oral sedation( taking the anxiolytic medicine orally)
At Caspian Dental Clinic we acknowledge your fear and we provide a calm soothing environment where you are surrounded with caring staff to assist you to concur it. Our patients manage to overcome their fear and take the first step towards a healthy mouth. To enjoy a stress free dental visit, call us on 01923254979
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