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Nervous?

Most people feel some degree of nervousness or anxiety when visiting the dentist, the following information we hope will help to show how common it is and how we can help. If you have any specific questions or want to chat please feel free to call us on 020 8994 2548, or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or pop in for a chat.  We thought it might help to show below how common nervousness and anxiety are in dentistry and the kind of things patients say, so you are really not alone.

 

I feel embarrassed

Embarrassment is one of the most common concerns voiced by people who haven’t been to a dentist in a long time. The days of the old school dentist who “lectures” to their patients are over, in its place is an open style of communication with lots of care and consideration.

 

Past events

A very common reason for dental anxiety is from being subjected to negative remarks by a dentist and or painful dentistry in the past. At Smilecare we develop a trusting relationship with our patients, where confidential information can be discussed and solutions found ensuring a positive and trusting relationship is maintained.

 

I haven’t been to the dentist in a long time

There is often a concern that if you haven’t been to a dentist for a long time (we’re talking 10 years or more), the dentist will be shocked at what they find. Dr Dave at Smilecare: " This is something we hear a lot from new patients, quite often patients are surprised that they require little or no treatment, however where more extensive treatment is needed, we will often take a stepwise approach so the procedures aren’t daunting. Our philosophy is to encourage our patients to say what they want, and how they feel about the treatment."

 

Im scared I will lose control

Acute embarrassment or fear of the dentist can often bring on feelings of panic and the sense that you may lose control. This can be linked to treatment carried out in the past where the dentist didn’t stop, despite your visible distress.  A helpful thing to remember is that you are the customer, if you want to: sit up in the dental chair, stop your treatment, even complain about the service, you are free to do so. We see our patient’s dental care as a partnership, and together we work towards finding what suits you best.

 

I can’t bear the thought of painful dentistry

Neither can we.  We take this very seriously and the key to painless dentistry is technique. When delivering the local anaesthetic this should be done very very slowly, this serves two purposes, it numbs the immediate area and it allows the anaesthetic to gently go into the area without force to ensure a comfortable experience.   At Smilecare we also use a numbing gel (strawberry flavoured mmm) before starting the injection.  We take the technique of painless injections very seriously, so much so we practice on one another!


What can be done to help me?

  • Become your own best friend

This sounds very cheesy, however it is important to be positive for yourself, don’t tell yourself off, congratulate yourself if you’ve taken action, for example: called us up for a chat about your options, made an appointment, or even booked in to see us.

  • Look at treatment options as your choice

We can recommend a lovely clinical hypnotherapist (Jane Hodgkin) to help with the feelings of dental anxiety. Patients report that sessions with the hypnotherapist have a positive effect that extends also to other areas of their life. Her details are as follows, website: www.hypno-west.co.uk, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., telephone: 020 8743 0962. A 1 hour session is £60.

We can chat about various options with medication, we have put some options in a table as a quick glance.

Medication  Type Pros Cons
Beta blockers antihypertensive Normally used for high blood pressure. A small single dose is very good at preventing a  “racing heart “associated with fear and panic without any drowsiness. It is contra indicated in people with asthma.
Oral sedative Diazapam Usually we prescribe one tablet the night before a procedure and one tablet on the morning of the procedure.  Patient’s  report a feeling of calm and euphoria You will need to go home and rest after the procedure. We require that you are collected by a friend  or family member as some amnesia immediately after the procedure can be  associated with this medication.
Intra venous sedation Diazapam This produces very similar effects to the oral sedation, except the sensation is more profound. As with oral sedation you will need to be escorted home and looked after. There is an additional cost to this treatment as we have an anaesthetist come to the surgery to administer the i.v. sedation.

With all of these options, they are choices that you can consider. It may be that you feel comfortable coming in for a check up with just taking a beta blocker to stop your heart racing. If you need treatment you may want to consider sedation. Please feel free to call us on 020 8994 2548 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Feel free to contact us for further information.


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