You might be surprised to know that dental anxiety is one of the most common phobias in the UK. Almost half of Britons admit fearing going to the dentist. While some people can overcome their nervousness and make appointments, others can experience such acute anxiety that they actively avoid seeing a dentist. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to schedule necessary check-ups or emergency appointments with a dentist in Guildford when your dental anxiety is high. Dental phobia can put your overall health at risk, as it can encourage dental issues to develop and affect your whole body.
Thankfully, dentists can provide dental sedation in the UK to their most nervous patients, ensuring that everyone can access dental care in the most comfortable and manageable way.
It is worth mentioning that dentists are trained to address different levels of anxiety. Mild discomfort and nervousness can be addressed through an open conversation with your dentist, so your dental care specialist can help make you feel at ease during the appointment. Acute anxiety levels, on the other hand, can require dental sedation treatment.
Where does dental phobia come from?
Dentophobia, or the fear of dentists, is a common fear experienced by people across all age groups. It can be linked to a variety of factors. Therefore, specialists recommend addressing the core of the issue to overcome your fear. So, where does the dental phobia originate from?
The answer is more complex than it seems.
The fear of pain is a predominant factor for many patients. Dental treatments have a history of painful procedures. However, patients can rest assured that the days of excruciatingly painful dentistry lie firmly in the past, thanks to modern technology and processes. Dentists suffer from an inaccurate media image, as the role is irrationally cast as cold and sadistic. This couldn’t be further away from the truth.
Some people fear a change of sensations in their mouth, leading to numbness or gagging reflex. They fear they might experience difficulty breathing or swallowing.
Finally, the fear of the medical environment, such as the sound of the drill or the sight of needles, can induce anxiety.
How can a sedation dentist in Surrey help?
Sedation dentistry is sometimes referred to as relaxation dentistry, which accurately depicts anxiety management for nervous patients. Through tailored relaxation treatments and techniques, your dentist can help make dental care more accessible and comfortable.
Typically, patients can receive various relaxation options depending on the level of anxiety and the type of dental treatment they require.
Hypnotherapy, or anxiety treatment through hypnosis, can help introduce positive instruction to reprogramme your unconscious mind about your emotional approach to dental care. It induces a natural state of mind, similar to daydreaming, where the individual is less aware of the surroundings. Hypnotherapy has proven a successful technique for individuals with a strong gag reflex, for example.
When hypnotherapy is not suitable, your dentist can recommend sedation treatments to help nervous patients overcome their fears. Our Guildford patients at Woodbridge Hill Dental Practice can receive three different types of sedation, depending on their needs.
Oral sedation is the minimal sedation form administered through medication prescribed to help patients relieve anxiety before an appointment. The administration process is easy: The patient needs to swallow a pill in the hours preceding their appointment. It is suitable for most individuals and can even have an amnesiac effect.
Laughing gas, or inhalation sedation, helps relaxation by creating a drowsy and pleasant feeling that does not impact your consciousness. Patients can safely go back to everyday activities, including driving, without 15 minutes after the treatment. The process is conscious sedation. It is safe, rapid and suitable even for children.
Intravenous sedation, or IV sedation, induces a calm and relaxed state, where the patient drifts in and out of sleep. It is a form of moderate sedation. As a result, you may not remember the procedure, making it an effective approach for highly nervous and anxious individuals. This treatment is safe and fully tailored to patients, which means that individuals with pre-existing medical conditions may receive lighter doses that contribute to relaxation without causing sleepiness. The IV sedation is administered by a trained sedationist who can reverse the effects of the medications if required.
Who is a good candidate for dental sedation?
Dental sedation is available to most patients who would otherwise struggle to maintain dental care appointments. At Woodbridge Hill Dental Practice, we recommend mild, moderate and conscious sedation to our patients with:
- problematic gag reflexes
- Sensitive teeth or heightened fear of pain
- Substantial dental work requirements
- Difficulties to sit still in the dental chair
Dental sedation can completely transform your dental care experience, ensuring anxiety does not come in the way of healthy teeth. The process is safe when administered by an expert. Your sedation dentist in Guildford, has completed his training in IV and inhalation sedation for the safety and comfort of all our patients. To discuss how dental sedation can help you for your next appointment, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team, 01483 568584, Monday to Saturday.