Being afraid of the dentist is nothing to be ashamed of. Fear of the dentist is actually a big problem in the UK, with one in ten adults stating that they put off seeking routine treatment because of their anxiety. This can have serious consequences for oral and general health, and if you end up having to visit the dentist in an emergency situation, your fear may worsen because you are likely to be in pain and already in a state of high stress.
Attending regular general dental check-ups will prevent serious and painful problems occurring, but if you are nervous or even phobic about dental treatment, it can seem impossible.
Dental phobia is a serious condition that can lead to panic attacks and other distressing symptoms. Most dentists are now sympathetic to the needs of nervous and phobic patients. The first step in conquering your fear is finding an understanding dentist.
Liverpool Smile Studio has a great deal of experience working with nervous and phobic patients, and dentist Dr Jeanine McGinty is Dental Phobia certified – meaning her skill and dedication in working with patients who suffer from any form of dental anxiety is recognised.
Many people who have not visited a dental practice are pleasantly surprised at the advances that have occurred in recent years. Most dentistry is now pain-free, and an informal chat with a dentist or a treatment coordinator can be an excellent way to start your journey back to full oral health.
A lot of modern dental practices also offer in-chair entertainment, which can mask the sounds of the surgery and can enable a patient to slip off into their own world without worrying about treatment. By watching a film, listening to your favourite radio show or music, you may be able to relax without additional help.
Very anxious and phobic patients will benefit from treatment under conscious sedation. This involves the use of sedative drugs to induce a highly relaxed state. Whilst you will not be asleep, you will be largely unaware of treatment. The vast majority of patients who have dental sedation remember little to nothing about treatment when it’s complete.