When you are phobic of dental check-ups or indeed dental professionals, that biannual reminder to attend can send you into a panic spiral.
And you aren’t alone! As many as 1 in 3 dental patients report feeling anxiety when it is time to get into the chair and as many as 2 in 3 patients avoid attending check-ups altogether. Yikes!
So, what are some of the steps that you and your dentist in Fulham can take to help alleviate your phobia? Read on to find out!
Talk to the team
The first step in making your dental visit manageable is to tell the team if you have anxieties or phobias; don’t be embarrassed.
Modern day dental practices are well equipped and trained to handle patients who have anxiety and if you can find a team that specialises in dental phobias then all the better!
There are many things that they can do to make you more comfortable (some of which will be discussed later), but if they don’t know, they can’t make the changes needed to help you get the treatment that you need and deserve.
Many modern-day dental surgeries are able to offer nervous patients treatment with the Wand.
What is the Wand? It’s similar to a needle that injects you with the numbing agent before a filling or extraction, except it is painless and the numbing effect only impacts on the area directly underneath the tooth; no numb mouth to worry about!
It is physically less intimidating to look at than a needle and it is simply pressed against the gum of the tooth to administer its effect. Simple!
If you are not too keen about opening your mouth for a dental assessment (the little mirror that allows dental teams to look at your teeth), there is now the option to have a 3D scan performed which will help your team to spot signs of decay, cracked fillings and other dental issues.
But again, it is worth checking if your dental surgery can offer this before you go.
Music or TV
Interestingly, many people who have phobias about dental surgeries or treatments have concerns about the sound of the drill- it is intimidating!
And, as a distraction, many dental surgeries who cater to nervous patients are able to offer a headset to listen to music or even a TV so you can watch your favourite show while they work on your teeth. If this is not an option, why not ask if you can bring along your own headset to listen to your favourite music? They probably won’t mind!
Some dental surgeries are able to offer nervous patients early morning appointments, so you can get the check-up or treatment out of the way before you begin your day.
Remember, sitting around all day fretting is going to do you no good, so until you feel more comfortable with your dental team, look for a surgery that can offer early morning appointments.