A dental visit is not as awful as you might think; its goal is to monitor your oral health. If you experience anxiety or fear of visiting the dentist then you are not alone. It is very common for people to dread visiting the dentist (but we don’t take it personally!)
Dental treatments are more advanced now in comparison to a few years ago. At O’Connor Moore Dental Practice we recognize that patients can be apprehensive about dental visits, so we strive to provide a comfortable and reassuring atmosphere for our patients.
One of the most important factors in overcoming dental anxiety is having good communication between you and your dentist. When patients feel informed and involved in their treatment, they typically feel less anxious.
Dental anxiety, fears or phobias are usually triggered by certain events or experiences, examples of these are:
Loss of control– some patients feel like they are losing control when they lie in the dental chair.
Pain– most people dread going to the dentist out of fear of experiencing pain, especially those who have a low pain threshold.
Embarrassment – some people feel shame, or are embarrassed when dentistlooks inside their mouth and examine their gums and teeth.
Past experiences– many people develop fears due to a negative experiencein the past. If a previous treatment was painful or resulted to complications; a patient may feel nervous about going to the dentist again.
A Few Tips for staying calm when you visit us at O’Connor Moore Dental practice:
Share your fears
If you feel tense or anxious, tell your dentist and the dental staff. Letting us know your concerns can help us tailor the treatment to suit your needs.
Focus on breathing regularly and slowly during a dental procedure.
When people are nervous they may have a tendency to hold their breath; thereby decreasing oxygen levels and further increasing feelings of panic. Focusing on slow, regular breathing can help reduce stress levels.
Take a friend to the appointment
There’s absolutely no problem in bringing a friend or relative with you to your appointment for moral support.
Treatment from your dentist
Some people have mentioned past experiences in other dental practices where they felt as though they were told off for not looking after their teeth; contributing to their reluctance to come back to visit a dentist. This is hardly surprising, no one should be telling you off! Here at O’Connor Moore Dental Practice we offer advice on the best course of action to look after your teeth, but do so in a courteous and professional way. We take our patient’s care (and feelings) very seriously, so when you visit us you can be assured of treatment with the utmost respect.
Choose a low stress appointment time
Select a time for your dental visit when you are less likely to be rushed or under pressure, This might mean a early-morning appointment or Saturday appointment.
Listen to some music
If the noise of the drill bothers you, we can provide noise-cancelling headphones while you listen to relaxing music. You can also watch TV during your treatment to take your mind off things.
Use hand signals
We encourage hand signals to communicate with us, if you feel uncomfortable, signal the dentist and they will stop the procedure.
If you genuinely can’t bear the thought of having a dental procedure, we can offer sedation as an option for your appointment. You will be conscious, yet fully relaxed throughout. You will be able to talk and answer questions, but you will be in such a deep state of relaxation that you will not be phased by what is going on around you – afterwards you might not even remember much of the treatment.
Don’t over think it
Overthinking about what might happen during your appointment can be a way to put yourself off. The scenarios you’ve imagined in your head are worse than what will actually happen (we promise).
Look up some of our reviews
If you are looking for a dentist; ask friends and relatives for recommendations. A positive review about a dentist from someone you trust can help reduce your anxiety.
by Caroline, Dental Nurse