Fear is an immediate response to a perceived threat. The overwhelming fear of dental appointments can be a common cause of our anxiety. Many patients picture a drill-wielding man in a white coat just waiting to cause pain and remove teeth. The reality, however, is very different. The comfort, relaxation and happiness of the patient are embedded deep at the heart of any good dental practice. The entire dental team have understanding and empathy to each and every patient, they will do whatever they can to reduce anxiety, allay fears and provide painless, quick treatments.
Recent technological advancements have meant that dentists are able to replace noisy drills with painless laser beams. There are also a wide variety of gentle and pain free anaesthetics available to eliminate anxiety during treatments.
Beneath that anxiety there’s often a fear factor. Fear of pain is a big one. Fear of needles. Fear of confined spaces. Fear of losing control. Fear of embarrassment. Fear of the unknown. All that gets wrapped up in so-called fear of the dentist.
How can you overcome this overpowering fear?
Talk to your Preston Dentist – The dentist is not a mind reader. Though it can be hard to talk about irrational fears with a stranger, your treating dentist can take extra precautions during visits if fears concerns are communicated. Unless you let your dentist know what it is you fear, he or she won’t be able to help you. You do not need to explain why you are fearful, if you feel uncomfortable with that. But it really helps if you can say what you are afraid of, or even make suggestions as to what your dentist might be able to do to help you with your fears.
Avoiding the situation is not an option. "If you are phobic, unfortunately you need to see the dentist more than anyone, because if you go for regular check-ups you'll need less dentistry,". "If you stay away until it's painful, you're probably going to be looking at some serious dental work. Prevention is always less unpleasant than cure."
Bring your IPod music player – Music acts as a relaxant and also drowns out any fear-producing noises. Listening to calming music throughout the appointment will help to reduce nervousness.
Decide and agree on a signal – Many patients are afraid that the dentist will not know if they are in pain during treatment, and will carry on the procedure regardless. The best way to solve this problem is to agree on a “stop” hand signal with the dentist.
Use a throat spray as it can control the gag reflex. Two or three sprays will usually keep the reflex under control for about an hour.
Ask about alternative treatment options – Advances in technology mean that dental microsurgery is now an option. Lasers can be used to prepare teeth for fillings, whiten teeth and remove staining. New non-invasive and minimal prep dentistry such as dental bonding or same day veneers are simple straight forward procedures for any skilled and experienced cosmetic dentist. Always discuss all the options with your dedicated Preston the dentist and decide on one that is effective and produces minimal anxiety.
If you suffer from fear of the dentist, dental phobia, or dental anxiety, there is something you can do about it. You really don't need to be a victim. Advanced dental technology can effectively alleviate and permanently remove dental phobia and fear of dentists.