Not everyone jumps for joy when going to the dentist, but some people have a full-blown fear of it. For people with a dental phobia, a visit to the dentist is the worst experience in the world. The mere thought of an appointment is terrifying. Dental phobia is extremely common. In fact, 1 in 7 Brits would rather go through a divorce than face their dentist. But, Pure Smiles Fulham has a friendly team of dentists who can make you feel comfortable. Various factors can lead to an irrational fear of the dentist. The key is figuring out how to overcome it.
Causes of dental phobia
There are many reasons why people fear the dentist. For instance, people fear the loss of control that comes when lying back in the dental chair. The dentist takes control of the situation and the patient can’t see what the dentist is doing. It’s the unknown that can some patients fear. Also, many patients’ fears stem from a bad experience in the past. They may have suffered pain during an appointment or as a child, they may have been scared of the drill noises. These past experiences can make patients more anxious in the future. Many people simply feel self-conscious during a dental procedure.
Signs and symptoms to watch out for
People with dental anxiety may experience:
- Racing heartbeat or palpitations.
- Feelings of nervousness that worsen in the dental practice waiting room.
- Visible distress, signs of panic or crying.
- You feel physically sick or ill at the thought of going to the dentist.
Patients with dental phobia will routinely miss their dental appointments. Avoiding the dentist can worsen your oral health. Regular check-ups can prevent dental diseases as it enables dentists to spot problems early and provide the appropriate treatment, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
What are the treatments?
If you are feeling anxious about going to the dentist, find an understanding dentist or an expert with anxious patients. Talk to your dentist and be honest about how you feel. The dentist will be able to offer you a nervous patient program. Our dentists provide hypnotherapy as a part of this program. Hypnotherapy relaxes the body and removes all anxiety and stress by putting you into a hypnotic trance. Also, you can use some coping techniques, such as deep breathing and meditation.
For extremely nervous patients, we do offer dental sedation. Alternatively, we may be able to refer you to an NHS sedation clinic. These clinics are specifically designed for people who fear the dentist. The first step is to establish what is causing your fear. After that, we can start helping you feel calmer around the dentist.
If you have any problems with your teeth, please don’t hesitate to book an appointment with Pure Smiles. If you have a dental phobia, we will provide you with support and treatment if necessary. Our practices are located in the Fulham and Parsons Green in South West London.