We Welcome Nervous Patients
Dental anxiety is common and can affect people of all ages. It could range from being slightly nervous to being severely phobic.
You may be anxious about the dental treatment itself, or being physically close to someone you don’t know very well. Most common is where you may have had unpleasant experiences at the dentist as a child and are frightened that these will be repeated or have heard “horror stories” around dental treatments.
There are several things we (you and us) can do to help you overcome your anxiety.
It always helps to get in touch and talk about your anxiety. It’s important to remember that we are okay with you being anxious!
It helps a lot if we can learn what is causing the stress you might be experiencing. We might have specific solutions to different causes of anxiousness.
Unless there is an emergency, we usually do not start treatment on the first visit. It is crucial for us that you get all the information you would need to protect or regain your oral health, so the first visit is for us to assess the dental situation, let you know what conditions are present if any and provide information on what you can do to help yourself. We come up with treatment options, explain them in detail and let you think about it. We do our best to go at your pace.
When you come for treatments we always explain what we’ll do, what you’ll feel, hear and see. We will always pause when you want.
If you feel your phobia is so severe that you can’t even consider approaching us, we can refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist.
The most common aspects of dental anxiety are pain, needles/injections and the feeling/concept of drilling. Lasers can help a lot for that. The Fotona laser we use in our practice is one of a kind in the technology and the benefits it provides. First off, the Er:YAG (Erbium doped Yttrium Aluminium Garnet) laser provides removal of unwanted tissue, like decayed tooth parts or surgical cuts, with minimal discomfort or in a pain-free fashion. This means most cases can be done without the use of needles and injections! Additionally, thanks to the same laser we do not need to use drills to clean the teeth to be filled, neither do we need stitches after most of the surgeries we do! If you want to learn more about dental lasers and how you can benefit from having laser treatments other than minimising the reasons to be anxious please click here.
Intravenous (IV) Sedation
You may find treatment easier if you have some form of sedation. This relieves anxiety and helps you to relax. You will still be awake but you probably won’t be able to remember much about the procedure afterwards. There are a few types of sedation used in dentistry. We can provide IV sedation, where a medicine will be injected through a fine plastic tube (cannula) into a vein (usually on the back of your hand). The medicine makes you feel relaxed, but you will still be able to talk and listen although you probably will not remember any of it afterwards.
You must have someone accompany you to and from our practice. Sedation temporarily affects your coordination and reasoning skills, so you must not drive, drink alcohol, operate machinery or sign legal documents for 24 hours afterwards.
Distracting your attention away from your dental treatment helps you to relax. You can
- listen to music or audiobooks
- watch a video
- concentrate on your breathing
- concentrate on relaxing each part of your body in turn
- think about something positive, like a favourite holiday place, nature, restaurant or a person
- or any combination of the above
Hypnosis is a way to relax where you concentrate on suggestions of relaxation, which are given by your hypnotist. You would stay awake and be in total control.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
Behavioural psychotherapists can teach you ways to reduce your anxiety with CBT. Regular meetings and exercises can help you to change the way you feel about something you’re scared of. Chat with us if you think this may help you.