Having dental anxiety is one of the most common problems, and it is thought that a third of adults strongly dislike visiting the dentist. Furthermore, 10% of us are meant to fear it so much that we avoid going to the dentist altogether. Good oral hygiene is extremely important for our heath as it affects more than just our teeth, so regular trips to the dentist are necessary to prevent or treat any issues that may cause more serious problems. By avoiding the dentist completely, people are at risk of suffering severe pain and requiring more extreme procedures carried out that could have been prevented if caught earlier.
At White Dental Rooms we completely understand and appreciate that dental visits and undergoing procedures can be a very stressful time for many people. We therefore have strategies and techniques that we use to reassure our clients, and help them manage and overcome this anxiety.
TALK TO US
This is the first step in overcoming any dental fears. We are proud of our reputation for friendliness, and we are more than happy to chat with you before we carry out any examination or procedures. We will listen to you and put your concerns first, before suggesting and explaining any course of treatment. This can be done away from the dentist’s chair (if this is part of your fear) so that you can get used to the surgery surroundings, and get to know your dentist better.
Many people are afraid of the dentist because of a bad experience as a child. They maybe remember the sounds and the smells of the surgery, or had to have dental procedures quite young that have put them off going back as an adult. For the older generation, some dentists of the past had extreme techniques such as pulling teeth out rather than trying to treat and save them. Luckily modern dentistry today is very advanced and offers many alternatives and more variety in the treatment of teeth. Procedures today can now be virtually painless and so if you have not been to the dentist in a long time, you will find that things have greatly changed and improved.
BREATHING AND RELAXATION TECHNIQUES
We breathe in and out all day long without thinking about it, but controlled breathing relaxes your body and preoccupies your mind so that you are not focusing on your anxiety. Some people feel uncomfortable having tools and the dentist’s hands in their mouth, and so this method can overcome the breathing issues people suffer in this situation. The simplest technique is to slowly breathe in through your nose for the count of three, and out through your nose for the count of three. Slow steady breaths will ease the nervousness. You may find listening to music, or having a companion chatting to you relaxes you also.
SEDATION AND HYPNOTHERAPY
For those suffering from a severe dental phobia, we are dealing more with a psychological issue that is less due to nerves and more due to fears, so the above techniques may not be enough to conquer your concerns.
For extreme cases, we can offer sedation (depending on your medical background) which means that you will still be conscious but put into a very relaxed state so that you do not fear or feel the procedure happening. The simplest is oral sedation, which is a tablet that you swallow before the dental treatment. There is also intravenous sedation, which is an injection normally administered into the back of the hand. We will discuss your medical history with you to determine the best procedure.
You may wish to talk to your doctor about the possibility of having counselling or psychotherapy. However, if you would like to try an alternative treatment, we are pleased to offer the services of clinical hypnotherapist Graeme MacLure. Hypnotherapy is a completely safe procedure used to help nervous people overcome a variety of fears and anxieties, or unwanted mindsets and habits. We can offer hypnotherapy in the comfort of our clinic, or you can visit Graeme in his Chiswick office if you prefer.
FACE YOUR FEAR
Whatever you do, do not put off going to the dentist, you will only create problems in the future and your teeth should last a lifetime! Take the first step today and tackle your fear. You do need to have your six-month regular check-ups, but you can prevent needing dental work carried out by properly looking after your teeth and oral health at home.
At White Dental Rooms whether you are a regular or a new patient, we will work with you to overcome any fear you may have about visiting the dentist. Contact us today and benefit from our friendly service.