It is believed that at least one in five people living in the UK is afraid to visit the dentist, due to some form of dental phobia. That fear and nervousness, caused even by the thought of stepping into a dental practice, can mean lots of different things to different people. The truth is that dental phobias, just like any other phobia that you may have, do not have a single cause. It seems to be a combination of multiple factors that lead a person to feeling anxiety about going to the dentist. We see so many nervous patients at our practice and one of the first things that they tell us is that a calming environment and our friendly, informal approach helps to ease the nerves. However some patients that we see are so terrified that it takes a couple of appointments just to come to terms with talking about their dental problems. There are a wide range of reasons why people have an inbuilt fear of visiting the dentist, it could be something as simple as the sound of the drill, a previous experience or the clinical smell and environment of a dental practice.
The key to overcoming a phobia or fear of visiting the dentist is to take the first step and speak to somebody about it. It may be comforting to know that no matter how nervous that you are we will have seen and treated someone more nervous than you. Some of our patients are so scared of visiting the dentist that they are in tears when they make the first phone call and speak to us about their concerns. It may take a few phone calls before you come in and make your first appointment but it is a journey that we take with our patients every day.
Dental Phobias and Past Trauma
According to experts, a phobia could be caused by a particular trauma or past incident, or it can also be a response developed by the individual at a very early age and was created by a sibling or a parent. Finally, genetics also plays a vital role in developing phobias. Evidence has shown that some people are just born with a tendency to be more nervous and afraid of particular things than others.
Has any of these occurred to you? Could it be that some specific smells bring back memories of a bad experience you once had (in your childhood, perhaps)? Does the sound of the equipment we dentists, use trigger a nasty response? Relax. You are not the only one, and you are definitely not experiencing something that should stress you. There are many people just like you that think having a treatment will be painful and have associated smells and sounds with unpleasant memories from their past. For all of you, we have some great news!
Dental Phobias & Dental Advances
One of the greatest news is that dentistry has advanced so much recently that seeing a dentist is no longer a reason to be neither afraid nor nervous about. Why?
For two major reasons:
- The overall experience is much more bearable and gentler nowadays with the modern dental surgeries that take place in relaxing and far friendlier environments than several years ago. You get to visit practices with appealing waiting rooms decorated with beautiful art while you listen to soothing music as you wait. You also step into dental surgeries with much less noticeable instruments. Remember those noisy drills? Guess what! They are no longer so irritating!
- You can ask for Sedation Dentistry (a procedure where we give you medication to put you into a relaxed dreamlike state) and feel at ease as the dentist is working on your smile, with lovely background music playing. IV-sedation is completely painless, and the same applies to the WAND, which is a computerised injection system that looks much like a pen and delivers the anaesthetic in small doses at a time. It is ideal for anyone with a needle phobia! Alternatively, a numbing gel can be used to numb your gums before an injection, so you don’t feel the needle at all!
All that, and much more, is what you can find at The Dental Suite! We are not only trained to deal with patients’ fears (Dental-Phobia Certified), but also do a great deal to make dental treatments a more pleasant experience for you. In a dreamy environment, little will remind you of the dentist’s surgery you had in mind! Ask us how we can help you overcome your dental phobias. It is time you are well looked after. Don’t you agree?