How we put our dental patients at ease
What is the first thought that runs through your mind when someone mentions visiting the dentist? If you fall into the same category as at least half of the population of the UK, there is a good chance that it is some level of fear. In fact, there seems to be a bigger fear of dentistry than having an operation in hospital which does, on the surface at least, seem somewhat strange.
Although the root of this fear isn’t yet fully understood, some feel that it is because the procedure takes place so close to the area where the brain, eyes, nose and mouth are; i.e. all of the major senses. This proximity appears to be a factor at least in people’s dental phobia.
Whatever the reason though, the fact is that dental phobia exists for a great many people and whilst a dentist’s role is not to understand the deep psychological reasons for this, it is our responsibility to do all that we can to make a dental visit as pleasant as possible.
At our Harley Street dental practice, we pride ourselves on trying to make our patients feel as comfortable as possible from the moment that they walk through the door. For some people, with mild phobias, simply a welcoming smile and relaxing environment is sufficient to ease their concerns and help them to relax.
Along with an increasing number of dentists, we also practice minimally invasive dentistry at our Central London practice. This simply means that only the minimal amount of work that is necessary will be done on your teeth. Every attempt will be made to leave as much of the existing tooth as possible. This usually means that any fillings etc will not have to go as deep as was perhaps once the case. This may even mean at times that there is no need for an anaesthetic which will certainly help those with a fear of the needle and will also reduce the amount of time with the drill, the sound of which seems to induce fear in many people. Naturally, there will be cases where deep work may have to be done on a tooth such as with a root canal procedure and in cases such as this, an anaesthetic will have to be administered.
There are a number of dental phobia aids which some people find help and these include:
- Relaxation Techniques
- Herbal or Alternative Remedies
- Listening to Music on an MP3 Player
- Prescription Medication to ease Anxiety
For most people, one or more of these, combined with our practise of minimally invasive dentistry will be sufficient to keep a patient calm during a procedure. For some though, the fear is extreme and very real. The danger here is that the patient will neglect to keep their appointments and consequently suffer later on with more serious dental problems which will necessitate more serious dental work. This can be overcome however by asking us about the conscious sedation that we can offer at our practice. This is usually administered intravenously and works by keeping the patient awake but in an extremely relaxed state. Many patients that have had this remark how quickly time goes using this. It is important however that you bring someone with you if you are having this as you will not be able to drive and even most likely take public transport under your own steam for some time afterwards.Google+