Dental Anxiety Triggers
Our Greenwich dentists look at some of the things that may cause dental anxiety.
Dental anxiety is very real and it is a fact that many people suffer from this. Whilst some may simply be able to acknowledge their anxieties but still see their dentist when required, others may well miss many appointments until a painful toothache forces them to receive treatment.
In today’s blog, we take a look at some of the things that might trigger anxiety in patients and what can be done to alleviate it.
One of the biggest anxieties we encounter at the Confidental Clinic is that of the ‘needle’. This is used to administer a local anaesthetic when an invasive procedure is needed. Despite what many people think, it is not the needle entering the gum which causes the discomfort, but more when the anaesthetic enters the bloodstream. We always take care to administer this as gently as possible in order to minimise any discomfort.
If you asked people what sound they most associated with the dentist, they would almost certainly say the drill. Once a patient starts to hear the sound of the drill, some start to anticipate pain (see next section). However, the modern dental drill is a very sophisticated piece of equipment which allows us to perform a procedure as efficiently and quickly as possible. The high pitched ‘whirring’ sound is caused by its fast rotating speed and without this, your procedure would take longer; something few patients would want.
The pain factor
Nobody likes to have dental treatment, and hopefully this encourages patients to look after their teeth. Once the drill starts though, some patients tend to expect the worst. The reality though is that modern local anaesthetics mean that you will not feel pain and what is actually experienced is an anticipation of pain that never comes.
Sounds and smells
Children especially are susceptible to new sounds and smells, and there is no denying that a dental practice has some specific ones. For this reason, we always suggest that parents bring their children to our Greenwich dental surgery from around one year old. This helps them to become used to the sounds and smells, hopefully reducing any anxiety later in life.
Older patients especially, may have had unpleasant experiences at a dentist in the past, when equipment and oral care in general was more basic. These experiences can have a long lasting effect and may even cause some patients to avoid dentists altogether until they are in pain. At the Confidental Clinic, we offer a caring dental service and are always happy to discuss any anxieties, including those caused by previous experiences.
It is important to acknowledge dental anxiety, but also to acknowledge that regular oral health checks are essential for a healthy mouth. With an increasing number of studies linking oral health problems with health issues such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s, this is becoming even more important.
We are always happy to see new patients at the Confidental Clinic and we can be contacted by calling our Greenwich practice on 020 8858 1422.