Bob had been putting off dental treatment for some time. He wanted to smile confidently, and get over his apprehension about visiting the dentist.
It's so wonderful to have been part of Bob's dental journey. With IV Sedation, Bob was able to undertake a lot of dental treatment without stress and fear.
Bob had been putting off dental treatment for some time. He wanted to smile confidently, and get over his worry about visiting the dentist.
I'm so thankful I am able to be a part of Bob's dental journey. I administered IV Sedation with Midazolam, and Bob was able to undergo a lot of dental treatment without stress or fear.
I treat nervous patients from all across Essex. And above everything else, patients tell me it’s taken a huge amount of courage to even reach out.
If you’re reading this, and you’re feeling nervous, I’m hoping to help with advice and information.
In this article, we cover;
Did you know that a study by the British Dental found that 36% of the UK population suffer from dental anxiety.
The biggest thing to take away from this is that you’re not alone. Dental anxiety affects a huge amount of people.
Here are some of the most common things I hear from patients.
I wanted to share these in the hopes they may resonate with you, that if you feel any of these – you feel you are not alone.
Let’s delve into two of the most common problems I hear about.
Regrettably, many suffer from dental anxiety due to distressing experiences in the past.
These can range from a painful or uncomfortable procedure to an encounter with an insensitive dental professional. And they can have a truly lasting impact. Memories like these create a deep-seated fear of dentistry, which are difficult to dislodge.
One of the most common trigger patients tell me is having had pain during a dental procedure, or being “held down”.
Many patients also report experiences in the past where dentists might have been dismissive of feedback, perhaps of distress.
Not feeling heard, and not being able to have open communication with someone who is responsible for your health.
The opposite of trust is shame. Many patients can feel like they might easily be judged by staff or by dentists for delaying treatment. I want to assure you that this is the last thing I would ever want you to feel.
The only thing that should ever matter is the steps we can take to restoring your dental health.
As a nervous patient, choosing the right dental practice for you is crucial to overcoming your anxiety.
Reviews are the first port of call. Does your potential dentist have reviews from other nervous patients? Are these reviews positive, particularly regarding their sensitivity and the aftercare provided?
Equally, the ambiance of the dental practice can play a significant role. Visit the practice before booking an appointment if possible. Does it feel welcoming and calming? Are there any potential anxiety triggers?
Trust your instinct about the atmosphere and the staff. Also, observe how you are treated – do you feel heard and understood? Do they take your concerns seriously?
Another key factor is communication. Is the dentist easy to reach? Is their approach warm and reassuring?
Sedation dentistry, particularly intravenous (IV) sedation, is a powerful tool for nervous patients in overcoming fear of visiting.
The active drug used is called Midazolam.
When injected, Midazolam acts by inducing a deep state of relaxation in the dental chair. For many patients it completely takes away feelings of fear or anxiety. And a lot of people actually forget the treatment altogether.
With IV sedation (more info here), you remain conscious and can communicate with us throughout your procedure, but you’ll be in a significantly relaxed state.
Even just knowing there’s a pathway with sedation can help nervous patients gain confidence.
It’s just that bit of extra support many people need.
It all begins with a small step. That first hurdle to jump.
I always like to tell patients: imagine yourself a year from now.
Smiling, enjoying your favourite foods, and living a life free from dental pain. Imagine how good it will feel to regain that self-confidence, knowing that you’ve taken control of your dental health.
And I want to reassure you that Dentistry has made significant strides forward.
Dental conditions can be stabilised, and long term dental health can be restored. Often, the sooner we can assess and stabilise, the better your prospects for maintaining a healthy mouth in the long run.
Everyone’s dental journey is different, and we’re here to help you along every step of yours
Here’s a few tips to think about if you’re nervous.
And if we get to meet (I hope we do!), I would love to learn if any of these help you.
Facing dental anxieties can feel like a mammoth task.
But remember, you’re not alone.
A great many people in the UK grapple with these feelings, driven by past experiences, fear of pain, or even embarrassment.
Today’s dentistry offers an environment of understanding, empathy and advanced, pain-minimising technologies.
We’ve touched on important factors like selecting the right dentist. A clinician who who makes you feel heard and understood, the potential benefits of sedation, and the essential action of reaching out, however daunting that may feel.
And there are steps you can take to make your dental appointments less stressful, such as scheduling morning appointments, using deep breathing exercises, and even listening to your favourite music during treatment.
If you’re feeling anxious, don’t hesitate to reach out. Take that first step towards a healthier smile and contact us today. We’re here to support you every step of the way.
Dr Kaly Gengeswaran
BSc (Hons), BDS Lon, PG Dip (Sed)