Do you worry about attending dental checkups? You aren’t alone!
In this short article, dental phobia is explored and all the options that your dental team may be able to offer you are also broken down, so read on to learn more.
What is dental anxiety?
It’s pretty self-explanatory, but dental anxiety is a fear of dental teams, surgeries and the associated procedures, noises and smells that occur in them.
Sadly, as many as 7 in 10 dental patients suffer from some degree of nervousness relating to dental surgeries, and dental phobia is an all too common concern.
Dental phobias are more likely to occur if you have had an unpleasant experience at a dental surgery, if you were not exposed to dental practitioners early in life, or if you have had to deal with a less than sympathetic practitioner in the past.
What are the treatment options?
Luckily, any dentist in Tunbridge Wells will be able to offer you treatment options to alleviate your anxieties when you visit their surgery.
Many will offer you non-clinical meetings before your actual checkup, so you can get used to the dental team themselves; this also allows you to see them as people, rather than scary medical staff in masks!
Moving on from that, the use of nitrous oxide is common amongst dental surgeries, which can help you to feel more relaxed in the dental chair. Or, if that doesn’t suit you, sedation in the form of a tablet or intravenous injection may be used.
If you want to be fully knocked out during your treatment, your dental team may be able to arrange for you to attend a day centre at a hospital, where you can be given a general anesthetic under the care of trained professionals.
Long term prevention
Of course, if you opt for things such as sedation or the use of a general anesthetic, this may only feel like a stopgap.
Long term, you may want to engage in psychotherapy or phobia based talking treatments to help you manage your dental anxieties. There are also plenty of apps on smartphones that can help you manage anxiety symptoms with breathing, visualization and other relaxation techniques.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, talk to your dental team about how to manage and reduce your anxieties in the long run.
Anxiety and emergencies
It is an unfortunate reality that people who suffer from dental anxiety are at a higher risk of encountering a dental emergency.
As people who have dental anxiety often put off or cancel dental checkups, it is all too easy for smaller issues, such as cavities, to develop into teeth breaking down altogether, which can lead to dental abscesses and extreme discomfort.
If it has been a while since you have seen your dental team for a checkup, and you have dental anxiety, then it is vital for your health and wellbeing that you attend one soon. Aim to look for a sympathetic dental team that can help you manage your anxiety and will not undermine you.
Many dental surgeries are now equipped to handle nervous patients, so simply call around and book non-clinical appointments (if possible) to find the right match for you.