Being afraid of medical procedures has long been accepted as a perfectly rational emotion. Being afraid of the dentist less so. But the fact is dental anxiety is more common than most people think, with around one in ten people in the UK experiencing dental phobia. Its prevalence highlights just how normal it is to feel anxious about visiting the dentist.
At Care Dental Platinum, a dentist for nervous patients in London, dental phobia is now treated with the consideration it is due.
Dentists today are increasingly aware of the damaging effects of dental phobia on patients’ dental health and overall wellbeing. That’s why a London dentist for nervous patients will often have a suite of techniques to help alleviate the dental fears of their patients.
One common approach used is that of distraction techniques. The name may be somewhat misleading, in that while the techniques employed can be seen as distracting, they are actually used as a tool for relaxation.
The calming effect of music
A popular distraction technique is to play music in the background or allow a patient to plug into their mp3 player. This can help their mind drift off to somewhere more pleasant or in a more practical sense, can help drown out the sound of the dental drill, suction, or sounds of other dental equipment.
Taking time out
Sometimes ‘distraction’ comes in the form of simply pressing pause and allowing time for the patient to acclimatise to their surroundings and the situation at hand. This might involve sitting down with the dentist or another member of the dental team, such as a treatment co-ordinator, to chat about what is about to happen and offer reassurance.
An upbeat attitude
Keeping the atmosphere cheerful and upbeat can be a particularly useful technique with children who are afraid of the dentist. At Care Dental Platinum, dentist for nervous patients in London, we may spend extra time getting know a child patient to help put them at ease with a joke, song or other kind of entertainment. This helps the child see a visit to the dentist as something fun that needn’t be feared.