Many anxious patients often have problems with their gums, with infection and chronic gum disease as a result of not seeing the dentist on a regular schedule. It is important to see us regularly so that we can assess and deal with problems before they worsen and become irreversible (gum disease), painful (dental abscesses) or expensive.
With modern dentistry, there are many techniques and methods including a form of sedation dentistry that our office can use to help you to overcome your anxieties and dental phobia and make your dental experience comfortable and even enjoyable!
Why are people phobic or fearful of the dentist?
There are several reasons why people are phobic about visiting the dentist. It may be something as simple as the clinical smell of a dental practice that puts people off or a previous bad experience that has scarred an individual for life. Below are a few reasons why you may be phobic about visiting the dentist. Rest assured that you are not alone, there are millions of people that suffer from dental phobia.
Previous negative experience – You may have had a bad experience in the past that has caused you to put off going to the dentist. This may be due to a painful procedure, a phobia of needles, or even a personality conflict with a dentist or dental staff.
You are embarrassed about your oral health and the condition of your teeth and gums. You may have neglected your oral health and your teeth over the years and are embarrassed about visiting your dentist for fear of what they might think or say to you. Many people fear that their dentist will ridicule or belittle them. I am very sensitive to patients’ feelings and will never ridicule you or belittle you because of your dental health. I understand that time can slip by and before you know it has been years since your last dental appointment. I am glad when a patient does make an appointment and is ready to improve dental health.
You may have a fear of dental instruments being placed in your mouth. This may trigger a gag reflex or cause an anxious feeling where you find it difficult to breathe.
Unsympathetic dentists – You may have had an experience with a dentist who was not sympathetic to your needs and concerns, and this has put you off going back to see a dentist.
You may have a fear due to the stereotype of dentists on the TV, in the press, or through friends and family. If you haven’t been to a dentist before, it may simply be a fear of the unknown.
You may fall into one of the categories above or have several reasons for your dental phobia, but the first step you can make in Sedation dentistry for patient with dental phobiaovercoming this fear is to recognize it and know that something can be done about it. There are several ways in which I can help you overcome your anxieties and dental phobia, and many things that you yourself can do.
Communicate your fears and concerns – I am a good listener and that can go a long way towards relieving your dental phobia. It is important that you talk about your fears and concerns with me openly and comfortably. You will find that I and my team are sympathetic towards your concerns and anxieties.
A full explanation of the procedures involved – Often something as simple as me explaining how the procedure will be carried out step by step, or giving you the opportunity to ask questions, will relieve that fear of the unknown. I will explain things in non-technical, easy-to-understand language.
Try to be open and honest with me even if you feel embarrassed about the condition of your teeth or your lack of previous dental care. I have seen many cases of dental neglect and can guarantee I will probably have seen teeth that were in a much worse state than yours. The important thing is that you are taking a step in the right direction to resolve the issue.
Relaxation and distraction techniques – I will offer distraction and relaxation techniques such as relaxing music, movies, TV, and scented candles to mask any clinical smells. We can offer a form of a sedation dentistry as well if you are unable to overcome your dental phobia.
Using a pain-free injection technique – Before giving an injection, I will apply a numbing gel (topical anesthetic) to your gums. I will give the injection slowly, which reduces the pressure and can be painless. I will talk to you while giving the injection to distract you from the anxiety of having an injection and to make sure you do not have discomfort.
My team and I take great pride in helping nervous patients with a dental phobia. Someone may have had a bad experience at the dentist in the past, often as a child. My team and I will go out of our way to spend time understanding the individual’s concerns so we can help as appropriate. It is very satisfying for us to see someone who comes in with a dental phobia, crying with fear, but gradually changes by becoming confident at every dental visit! We ensure comfortable dental treatment for our patients.