Here at Roseacre Cottage Dental Practice in Maidstone, we completely understand that for some, the dentist can be a very frightening experience. One in four of us have a fear of the dentist. Although we continue to do everything we can to try and put our patients at ease, it is a deep-rooted fear for many. This could stem from a bad experience as a child, the worry of pain or the sounds and smells.
The fear can then begin a vicious cycle of becoming saddened that your teeth are in bad condition due to not visiting the dentist, being too scared to visit and fix them thus making them even worse, saddening you further.
The dental experience today
Thankfully, we are very happy to say that today’s dental experience should hopefully help you to overcome this fear. At Roseacre Cottage Dental, we give every patient the same empathetic, calm and pain free experience. We completely understand that everyone has different fears and concerns about visiting the dentist, and we do all we can to alleviate these fears.
Many people’s dental fears stem from memories of visiting the dentist as a child. Therefore, these memories are very dated and do not represent modern dentistry. Today’s dental practices are much friendlier environments with friendly staff, art on the walls and flowers. The sounds and smells may be the same, but with tools kept out of sight and music playing in the background of waiting rooms, we try to disguise this sensory information as much as possible. Even our drills, which for some is the most frightening sound, aren’t as loud as they used to be. Also, our methods of pain relief have drastically improved. Your treatment can be completely painless, from the simple procedures to those more complicated. We even use a ‘dental wand’, which looks like a pen, to administer your anaesthetic. Once it’s time for a needle, you won’t be able to feel a thing. Perfect for those with a needle phobia. Altogether, the experience is much more pleasant one.
How to minimise your dental phobia
It’s so important to find a dentist who understands your phobia. At Roseacre Cottage Dental Practice, we encourage as much honesty as possible when booking your appointment. If we know you’re a nervous patient, we can do all we can to help put you at ease. Secondly, we suggest visiting your dental practice before your actual appointment. If this is your first visit or first in a while, it may be good to calm your nerves by having a look around prior to seeing the dentist. You can meet the dentist, reception staff and let the dentist know that you’re rather nervous beforehand, if you’d rather tell them directly than the reception staff over the phone. Next, an early morning appointment is much more beneficial to calm your nerves if possible. Many patients book an appointment later in the day but spend all day worried about the visit, building it up in their heads into something much worse than it will be. If you can bring a friend with you, we’ve found that can help those with dental nerves. Many dental practises don’t mind you having a friend or family member in the appointment with you, but it is best to ask just in case.
Finally, we always recommend talking to your dentist about a stop signal. This is something non-verbal you can do with your body to inform the dentist to stop the treatment. This will make you feel much more in control of the appointment.
If all of these things are not helping your nerves, some dental practices do allow sedation. You will likely be referred to an NHS sedation clinic, which are specially for those nervous to visit the dentist. The sedation can be administered in different ways. Some prefer inhaling, like the gas and air given to women during childbirth. However, others prefer an injection into the arm or hand. The sedation will leave you feeling much calmer and relaxed, whilst still awake enough to speak to your dentist.