12th October 2018
Visiting the dentist isn’t the top of everyone’s weekend plans, we understand that. Your dentist tries to make every visit as comfortable and enjoyable as possible, but we know your social plans will always feature higher in the Things We’d Rather Be Doing list. However, nervous dental patients don’t just not enjoy their visit, they tend to actively avoid it. For some, the dentist isn’t an electrifying experience, and for others its down-right nerve-wracking. Here at Abbey House Dental, we believe all dentists should strive to cater for nervous patients and deliver empathetic care, so here’s how we help nervous dental patients.
What is dental phobia?
Dental phobia is very real and experienced by many people across the UK. In fact, according to the NHS, 1 in 4 of the British public dreads visiting the dentist. Dental phobia means different things to different patients, but it all boils down to not feeling comfortable in a dental practice. Sometimes a bad experience or a less empathetic dentist can lead to not trusting other professionals, or a scary experience as a child has manifested and carried forwards despite your best intentions. Even if your dental phobia stems from the fear or something hurting, regardless of how complex or routine the treatment is, there are ways around it.
Why does sedation help with dental phobia?
Sedation helps ensure a positive experience for those nervous dental patients who opt for treatment with us. Sedation does not equate to general anaesthetic, so you are relatively conscious the whole time. This ensures that you are very relaxed, possibly a little tired, and detached from the treatments being performed. You can still communicate and interact with the dental professionals around you and you are monitored by an experienced member of staff the entire procedure. Sedation also allows us to lessen the amount of appointments you need to carry out your dentistry, because we can combine treatments while you are relaxing under sedation. Time often feels like it has flown by, with more complex or lengthy treatments seeming to only take minutes!
How can I overcome my fear of the dentist?
The most important thing to do is to talk to your dentist. As a sedation-trained dental practice, we place the greatest of importance on patient care above all else. This means we treat all patients with the same level of respect and empathy, so even if you are nervous you are welcome through our doors. Talking openly and asking questions will allow your dentist to earn your trust and go at a pace that is comfortable for you. If they are aware of your concerns, they can set your mind at ease and begin preparations for making your visit as comfortable as possible.
Know that your dentist won’t rush you. Whether you haven’t had a check-up in a while or are starting to really your dental health deteriorate, your treatment won’t be carried out on the same day as your appointment unless you specify. We’d never expect you to be treatment-ready after your first appointment or consultation with us, we’d just like to meet you and carry out a quick visual examination first. That means no scary instruments, no treatments, nothing whatsoever unless you specify you’d like to.
Bringing a close friend, family member, or loved one to your appointment is also welcomed at high-quality dental practices. This way you have a familiar face in the office to take strength from and allow yourself to be grounded. Whether you’d just like them in the waiting area, in the room with you, and even squeezing your hand, your support system is welcome at your appointment.
Figuring out a ‘stop’ signal is also a good step to take. At your first appointment, your dentist will introduce this option to you so that you have full control of any treatments and further appointments. It might be raising your hand or making a noise, but this stop signal allows you take a break from receiving treatment and to gather yourself until you’re comfortable to continue.
Being scared of the dentist is more common than you’d think, so you are certainly not alone amongst many UK nervous dental patients. At our empathetic dental practice in Stone, our sedation dentist will put nervous patients minds at ease. Enquire online or speak to a friendly member of staff on 01785 818037 to receive the care and understanding you need to promote your dental health.