Many people are afraid of going to the dentist. This fear can put off going to the dentist at first sign of pain or discomfort. As a result something minor builds up into something more and the pain and fear compounds when one actually has to go.
Past experiences can influence the perceptions of future experiences and as a result build up dental visit anxiety. We don’t underestimate this, in fact we are quite aware that this white knuckled physiological reaction occurs. Thus the first step is often to come in and have a chat. That way you can discuss your fears and anxieties regarding various aspects of dental treatment.
Some of the more common types of fear are:
- The thought of getting a needle.
- A hypesensitive gag reflex, so much so that even an examination can be difficult. We have patients who gag even whilst getting their own teeth.
- Reaction to sensitivity caused during cleaning with the ultrasonic cleaning tips.
- General anxiety, which can get magnified during a visit to the dentist.
- The smell of the clinic itself can be trigger for some people.
The good news is that their are ways in which a lot of these things can be addressed. Firstly a visit to familiarize yourself with the dentist, team and surroundings will go a long way in allaying the fear of the unknown.
Then there is the pre treatment itself. For some patients we premedicate with valium and for others we would use relative analgesia Nitrous Oxide or laughing gas. These are highly effective in helping people relax and enabling work to be done, which otherwise wouldn’t be possible.
There are also during treatment resources available, such as topical anaesthetic especially formulated to reduce the perception of the dental needle.
This is but a small part in the many ways we try and allow our patients who are anxious to get the treatment they need.