Regularly attending the dentist is important not only to ensure proper oral health, but also in order to take preventative measure to avoid more serious health issues. Gum disease can lead to serious illnesses like stroke, heart disease, and diabetes, so it’s crucial to stay on top on your dental visits, even if your smile appears clean and healthy.
Unfortunately, many patients’ fear of the dentist prevents them from seeking proper care. In fact, it’s been reported that nearly 20-25% of people fear the dentist, and as many as 1 in 10 people avoid the dentist altogether because of their phobia.
Why do people fear going to the dentist?
What causes patients to fear going to the dentist when it’s only going to be beneficial to their health? Most people report the same root causes for their fears.
First and foremost, most patients are afraid of the pain they may experience during a dental visit. Certain procedures, such as root canals, have reputations for being extremely painful, but in reality, most patients are simply associating the pain of a toothache prior to receiving treatment with the actual treatment itself. After dental surgery, the majority of patients report that treatments were much less painful than anticipated.
Secondly, many patients report having had bad experiences at the dentist as a child or young adult. Whether it was due unexpected pain or an unsympathetic or inexperienced dentist, many of us at one point in our lives have had an unpleasant dental visit. Don’t let this deter you from visiting the dentist. Advances in technology have made most procedures absolutely painless. Sedatives are more effective, drills are quieter, and dentist’s practices are more relaxing than in years past. If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, you’ll be surprised as to how far dental surgeries have advanced in the past few years.
Finally, many patients simply fear a lack of control. Difficulty communicating during procedures and a lack of knowledge of exactly what’s going on can be major contributors to anxiety. Proper communication beforehand with your dentist as well as planning ahead of time for managing anxiety will go a long way to abate your fears during a dental visit.
Simply follow these helpful tips for nervous dental patients, and you’ll be comfortably at ease in that dental chair in no time!
Advice for Nervous Dental Patients
1. Find a dentist that specialises in nervous dental patients. Seek out a private dental practice for nervous patients. Unfortunately, some dentists are not sensitive to pain control, or are insufficiently experienced in dealing with nervous patients, and simply don’t exhibit enough compassion.
At Vitality Dental, we are experts in dealing with nervous patients. No matter how long it’s been since your last appointment, it’s never too late to come in for a check-up. Our friendly staff of experienced professionals can help you overcome any fears you may have.
Starting with our friendly reception team, we’ll make sure you feel relaxed from the moment you step in the door. Our patients are always made to feel comfortable, reassured, and fully informed throughout their entire visit. We offer state-of-the-art pain relief treatments, as well as sedation techniques, if deemed necessary. We’ll always make every effort to ensure that you have peace of mind throughout your visit.
2. Communicate openly with your dentist. It’s important for your dentist to know exactly how you’re feeling. Letting your dentist know that you’re afraid will let them know that they need to exhibit special caution when giving you treatment. No question is too simple or mundane. Don’t suffer in silence!
There are many things your dentist can do to make you feel more at ease. From offering an explanation of each and every step of your treatment, to asking permission before proceeding, to pre-scheduling breaks throughout your treatment, your dentist can ease your worries by simply communicating effectively. You can even establish a hand signal in advance so that your dentist knows when you’d like to take a quick mental break.
3. Schedule a consultation in advance. Many patients don’t realise that many private dental practices offer complimentary initial consultations. By scheduling an advanced consultation, you’ll be able to meet your dentist, and make sure that your personalities are a fit. Most patients find that meeting their dentist ahead of time eases their stress quite significantly. In this consultation, you’ll be able to plan exactly what treatment is going to be undertaken, how long it will take, what the results will be, and why it will be worth it!
Preparation is the best way to ease your anxiety about the dentist! Click here to schedule a consultation with Vitality Dental at our Pulborough West Sussex location today.
4. Make your first appointment a simple clean and polish. Rather than jumping in to any advanced treatments out of the gate, simply make your first appointment a hygienic visit. This will give you the chance to work with our staff and to get even more comfortable with our office. Eventually, visiting the dentist will feel like routine!
5. Book your first appointment in the early morning. Getting your appointment out of the way first thing in the morning will save you from stressing about it all day!
6. Bring music or practice breathing techniques. While some patients like to maintain frequent communication throughout the visit, others prefer to tune everything out. Listening to relaxing music helps many patients. You can also practice deep breathing techniques in advance, which have been shown to significantly reduce stress. There are many free apps available with audio to guide you through these breathing exercises.
7. Bring a friend or family member with you. Taking someone along that you’re comfortable with can help to make you feel more at ease while visiting the dentist. Just make sure it’s someone that reduces your stress rather than contributes to it!
By following these simple tips, we hope your next visit to the dentist will be stress free!
For more information about Vitality Dental, a private dental practice in Pulborough, West Sussex, contact us today!