Although not all people find dental appointments unpleasant some may suffer at the hands of dental anxiety. Fear of anything dental is termed as dental anxiety or dental phobia. To make visiting the dentist an enjoyable experience we offer patients choices to reduce dental phobia.
Sufferers of dental phobia may avoid getting much needed dental treatment due to high anxiety. The fear may be caused by past dentistry experiences, such as painful drilling or injections. For some, their fear is rooted in not liking how their dentist treated them or an unpleasant experience in the dental practice. Others may have high oral sensitivity or a gag reflex.
Dental anxiety develops from childhood and so enjoyable dentistry is vital if children are to receive dental treatment during their lifetime.
Missing regular dental check-ups or essential dental treatment may lead to tooth decay, oral disease and severe pain. Oral diseases are also linked to other health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, which is why treating dental phobia is important for oral health and general well-being.
Dental phobia treatment allows patients to receive screening for oral health conditions and provides relaxation where the patient may otherwise be at risk of harm during dental treatment due to anxious reactions. Dental phobia treatments including intravenous (IV) or conscious sedation relax the patient for pain-free and enjoyable dental treatment.
Dental phobia treatment options to help anxious patients include:
Being able to talk about the cause of dental phobia with a professional can help to address the underlying fears that are preventing an individual from receiving dental care. Talk therapies, meditation and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) are aimed at reducing dental anxiety. Our clinic may refer individuals in need of such help for counselling.
We provide not only a sterile environment for patients to receive dental care but have also designed our clinic for an enhanced sensory experience. Patients feel comfortable in our clinic because it is a warm and friendly environment. We offer patients the option of listening to music during treatment and encourage feedback on relaxation techniques to help patients in our care.
Where patients suffer severe anxiety about the dentist and are not keen on other means of anxiety reduction, dentists may prescribe or refer to a medical practitioner for prescription of an anxiety-reducing medication. Suitability of such treatment will depend on the patient's medical history.
IV sedation is often the choice treatment for dental phobia because it gives fast sedation and relaxation without pain. Dentists often prefer this form of anxiety-reducing treatment for the proposed safety during treatment.
Other anxiety-reducing treatments may be combined with IV sedation so patients experience a sense of calmness before, during and after treatment. IV sedation serves as an alternative to general anaesthetic and patients have choices in sedation treatments, such as conscious, inhaled and intravenous.
Patients can be offered IV sedation with medications such as Midazolam or through a medical practitioner for deep sedation. The latter may be more suitable for highly nervous patients. It is advisable for patients to be accompanied by another person when having IV sedation. Driving afterwards will not be suitable and transport home should be arranged.
In the past, injections may have been painful but patients can now enjoy painless injections with The Wand. This is ideal for treating those with a past fear of needles. It looks like a pen and is computer-programmed to administer appropriate amounts of anaesthetic.
Although still a form of injection, patients do not experience the sting of the traditional injection and The Wand does not look like an injection needle. The Wand is used to treat children so they do not have future fear of injections and dental treatments.
Dental phobia treatment provides patients with greater relaxation during dental procedures. It is our aim to provide an enjoyable dentistry experience. Options like sedation provide enhanced calmness and enables patients to forget the dental procedure.
The main advantage is that patients have a good dental experience and receive the care they need for better oral and overall health.
To find out more about dental phobia treatment get in touch with our clinic. We can book a consultation to suit your needs and can tell you all about the anxiety-reducing options available to you.