Steps to Take To Banish Dental Anxiety
An extreme fear of the dentist is one of the most common phobias. It often stems from horror stories dating back to a time before dentistry had achieved the exceptional standards of safety and hygiene that it has today. Having teeth pulled with insufficient (or no) anaesthetic and being painfully poked and prodded by an archaic practitioner with seemingly no sympathy for nervous patients are all familiar tales told by parents and grandparents – none of which are particularly helpful when you’re struggling to work up the courage to sort out a dental problem of your own. The result is that hundreds of people put off going to the dentist every month, leading to ongoing and increasingly unbearable dental pain and, in the worst cases, nasty bouts of gum disease. This condition is now proven to have more serious consequences than hitherto realised, and is likely to lead to heart disease, stroke and diabetes along with numerous other conditions. So trying to ignore your tooth pain can lead to a world of trouble, and in a more severe way than many actually realise.
However, even armed with the above knowledge, people still choose to put on a brave face and ignore the problem. Dental phobia can be so intense that it can influence the sufferer to prefer to bury their head in the sand, even when potentially facing major future health issues. The team at Oakley Dental know that this is a big problem, so they’ve put together this simple list of five easy steps to help you overcome your fear of the dentist.
- 1. Try Therapy
People go to psychiatrists for all manner of things, so booking a couple of one-off sessions prior to dental surgery is not a big deal at all, and certainly doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you. Therapists can teach you methods to calm yourself and boost your mental protection against your phobia, so you’re ready to go in stronger.
- 2. Choose a Dental Phobia Certified Dentist
Take time to research your dentist before taking the plunge. Do you consider their surgery a relaxing environment? Are you happy with the way they present themselves? Are you familiar with their certifications? Some dentists are actually specifically qualified to deal with concerns just like yours. Be sure you get to sit down with them for a proper consultation before your real appointment. At Oakley Dental we have four Dentists that have years of experience dealing with nervous patients, you can check our their profiles before making your first call. Each of the surgeries are equipped with aromatherapy diffusers, anxiety relief ambient music, Tempur comfort mattresses and personal headphones that can be used for your own selection of stress relief. If you think that you still cannot come in for your first check up, then you have the additional option of seeing a Dentist that is able to give you sedation for your treatments.
- 3. Confide in Your Dentist
Dental phobia is not rare, and you are not weird or childish for suffering from it. The very nature of phobias is that they are irrational, and overcoming them involves making yourself innately aware that this is the case. Don’t put on a brave face – tell your dentist what the issue is in no uncertain terms, and ask them how they can help. They will happily talk you through the whole procedure and let you know which sedatives they can use to help you relax. You can even book to see a Treatment Coordinator in a non-clinical setting. at the Practice before committing to any appointments. A Treatment Coordinator will be able to go through all the options available to you, help to match you to a suitable Dentist and even introduce them to you and the surgery before you even decide to go ahead. A consultation with a Treatment Coordinator for nervous Patients is completely free of charge and they are trained to deal with complex cases. You can click here to book your own appointments.
- 4. Don’t Go Alone
It doesn’t matter how old you are. As mentioned, dentists come across individuals with this kind of phobia all the time, and expect at least a few patients to come accompanied. Inviting a close friend or family member along will give you moral support, but will also leave you with no excuse to cancel; as someone who cares about your wellbeing, they won’t be about to sit back and let you miss your appointment! Call us to let us know you intend to bring someone with you and we can arrange for you to use our private waiting room.
- 5. Be Distracted
We have a television screen to watch or you can use your device to entertain yourself instead of just focussing on your procedure. This is another reason to take care over which dentist you attend. You can also wear our headphones, so put yourself together a little calming playlist on our Spotify to listen to during the procedure.
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