Fear of dental treatment is quite prevalent these days. According to the Oral Health Foundation, more than 10 million adults in the UK are afraid of going to their dentist. Unfortunately, avoiding dental treatment due to anxiety or phobia can cause many complications, such as tooth decay, gum disease, difficulty chewing food, and a significant effect on one’s physical health and well-being.
If you are also one of those who dread stepping into a dentist’s office, don’t worry; Thanks to modern dentistry, your dental fears can be overcome. Whether you are afraid of the dental drill or the needle, there are ways to make you feel comfortable and relaxed during your appointment. In this blog, we will discuss various ways dentists allay the fears and apprehensions of nervous dental patients, enabling them to enjoy good dental health and physical well-being. So, if you are an anxious or fearful patient, this blog is for you!
How Can People Overcome Fear Of Going To The Dentist?
The first step in overcoming your fears is to have a frank discussion with your dentist. You should let your dentist know about your specific fear and apprehensions. This will help them take appropriate measures to make you relaxed and comfortable. For example, if you are afraid of the overall environment of the dental office, your dentist will ensure that you don’t have to wait for long in the waiting area. Similarly, they may ask you to listen to your favourite music or watch a movie to distract you.
How To Psychologically Deal With Fear Of Dental Procedures?
Most patients with dental phobia or anxiety are afraid that they will feel pain during treatment. These patients have pre-made notions that even a dental checkup will be painful and uncomfortable. So, the first step in psychologically managing this fear is realising that modern dental procedures are virtually painless. Even when administering local anaesthesia, dentists use techniques and tools to ensure you don’t feel the needle’s prick. For example, they will first numb the area with a topical anaesthetic so you don’t feel the pinch of the needle.
Another way to psychologically overcome your fears is to understand that you are in command during your treatment. If, at any time during your treatment, you can simply raise your hand and your dentist will stop immediately.
How Do Dentists Cope With Patients That Are Anxious Or Phobic?
Dentists use various techniques to control apprehensive or frightened patients. For example, if a patient is afraid of the sound of the dental drill, the dentist may ask them to listen to their favourite music so that they are distracted by the sound. Similarly, if a child is afraid of the dental office’s environment, many paediatric dentists have purpose-built operatory rooms for kids that are welcoming and help reduce the child’s stress. So, the technique dentists use to overcome a patient’s fear depends on the underlying cause and severity.
What Is Dental Anxiety, And How Many Ways Can One Reduce It?
In simple words, dental anxiety is the feeling of anxiety and restlessness one feels when one thinks of visiting the dentist’s practice. Fortunately, dentists are trained to manage the apprehensions and fears of dental patients so that they can also enjoy a beautiful smile and pearly white teeth. In fact, some dentists undergo additional training to become certified in treating highly phobic or anxious patients.
How To Deal With Anxiety Regarding Daily Oral And Dental Care?
The best way to overcome dental anxiety related to daily oral hygiene care is to take things step-by-step. If you are afraid of brushing your teeth alone, you may ask your partner or a loved one to accompany you. Similarly, you should start small; start brushing your teeth at least once a day, then increase the frequency to twice daily. Once you are comfortable, start using mouthwash as well. In this way, you can step up your oral hygiene game in a gradual manner.
I’m Scared To Go To The Dentist. How Can I Calm My Nerves?
Talk to your dentist. If you are highly phobic or anxious, your dentist may prescribe medication – to be eaten the night before and 30 minutes before your appointment – to help you feel relaxed. Furthermore, dentists may consider performing the procedure under conscious sedation for highly anxious patients.
What Are My Options If I’m Terrified Of The Dentist?
Conscious sedation is the best option for someone terrified of the dentist. In conscious sedation, your dentist will prescribe pharmacological agents that make you feel drowsy and relaxed. However, you will remain conscious enough to respond to the dentist’s instructions. If there is a need to perform lengthy procedures, dentists may also consider performing them under general anaesthesia.
How Can Someone Prevent Panic Attacks At The Dentist?
The best way to prevent panic attacks at the dentist is to take medication prescribed by your dentist. Typically, you should take the medication one night before and 30 minutes before your appointment. The medication will help calm your nerves.
How Common Is Fear Of Going To The Dentist?
You will be surprised to know that dental fear is highly prevalent. It has been estimated that over 53% of the adult UK population is afraid of visiting the dentist.
Don’t let yourself suffer because of your fear of the dentist. Consult a specialist dental professional today and begin your journey towards a healthy smile. If you live in Oxford or Didcot, The Oxford Smile Clinics is your best option for painless and comfortable dental treatment. So, book an appointment today and let us help you eliminate your dental fears.