Whether you are a nervous dental patient or you’ve held the hand of someone feeling jittery about getting in the chair, most of us understand why some people are a little nervous about a visit to the dentist. One in four of us feel this kind of anxiety, according to the NHS, and unfortunately this can sometimes result in avoiding the dentist altogether, which can have serious consequences for teeth and oral health, including ongoing dental pain.
A visit to the dentist in 2016 is a far cry from days gone by – advances in dental science, a focus on putting patients’ minds at ease and making them comfortable have all contributed to making the experience far less intimidating. One of the easiest ways to help deal with dentist nerves is to find an understanding dentist, an expert with anxious patients. Choose an early appointment time so there’s no opportunity to dwell in advance, take a friend for comfort, and don’t be afraid to tell the dentist how anxious you’re feeling. It might be useful to agree a sign with the dentist, something to indicate they should stop if you need to break.
Needles and injections
For many patients, injections – and/or a fear of needles – underpins a great deal of the anxiety that surrounds a trip to the dentist. Thankfully, injections at the dentist have moved on leaps and bounds in recent years and thanks to advances in technology painless needle technology reduces discomfort and makes the whole experience much less unpleasant. Traditional injections have been replaced by The Wand, a small, handheld way of delivering anaesthetic that looks like a pen. The Wand controls the flow of the anesthetics, is held like a pen, and many patients don’t even realise they’ve had an injection, that’s how subtle it is.
Alternatives to painless injection – dental sedation
Another modern option to make your experience less anxiety inducing is dental sedation. With sedation, patients remain awake during the dental work but medication is used to relax a nervous dental patient. It’s common to feel sleepy and drowsy but there is usually little awareness of the procedure, lessening any negative experience and removing the anxiety for next time.
If you’re nervous about an appointment then feel free to speak to your dentist and ask for more information on treatment if you’re a nervous dental patient. At Smile Pad we have experience working with all sorts of anxious patients and we know how to make the visit easier – book an appointment with one of our practices today for a better dental experience.