Dental Anxiety is one of the most common phobias in the world with nearly a third of all adults disliking the dentist and 1 in 10 of us having a phobia so strong that we actually avoid visiting the dentist. A phobia is an intense, unreasonable fear. People with dental phobias often put off routine care for years or even decades. To avoid it they will put up with gum disease, pain and even broken teeth.
Overcoming Mild Dental Anxiety
This is discomfort and nervousness as opposed to fear or panic.
Talking to your dentist
This is the first step to overcoming dental fear. With a combination of kindness and gentleness, dentists can do a lot to make dental treatment stress free.
Practicing Breathing techniques
Controlled breathing relaxes the body and shifts the mind to other things. This simply involves inhaling and exhaling through the nose for a slow count of three.
Needle phobias can be overcome through painless treatment. Advances in technology has also improved dentistry. Treatment can now be pain free. The dental wand ( a computerised injection system that looks like a pen and delivers anaesthetic very slowly so it is painless) is great for anyone with needle phobia. A numbing gel can also be used to numb the gums before an injection so you don’t feel the needle.
Overcoming Severe Dental Anxiety
This is a psychological phobia that is less due to nerves and more due to fears. We can potentially overcome severe dental anxiety in a few ways:
Counselling: This is free on the NHS for severe phobias and helps hundreds of people. There is also a wide number of support networks such as DentalFearCentral
Sedation: This may prove one of the best solutions for severe sufferers of dental anxiety, giving you a better chance of visiting the dentist again! There are different types of sedation available. The simplest is oral sedation which is a tablet you swallow an hour before treatment. You will still be awake and aware of what is happening around you but you will also be drowsy and more relaxed. There is also the option of intravenous sedation. This is an injection which is administered into the back of the hand. You will still be awake, however you will be in a deeply relaxed state and may not remember what happened afterwards.
Here at the Mayhill Dental Centre we provide gentle and caring dentistry with the options of the dental wand and sedation. If you would like further advice or just a chat please feel free to call us on 01600 712020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org