Anxious about your dental visit? Here is how we can help you.
At Pure Periodontics, we understand that attending a dental visit can be quite a stressful experience for many of our patients. Research shows that about 50% of the British public report some type of anxiety about visiting the dentist and approximately 12% of people have anxiety levels so extreme that it is considered a phobia. Therefore, dental anxiety or phobia may actually be more common than you think.
Treatment avoidance can be a key issue in patients with even mild levels of dental anxiety, which often results in delay or avoidance of care. However, leaving potential problems unchecked and untreated can have a significant influence on your oral and general health. In particular for people with gum disease, this may result in an increased risk of other interlinked health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, adverse pregnancy outcomes etc. Although knowing about the influence of oral health conditions on wider health may not provide much help with your anxiety, there are a number of steps we take to make your treatment journey as comforting and seamless as possible.
How we can help you:
One of the first things we aim to do is ensure you have the necessary information at hand to make an informed choice about your gum health. Our website offers all of the details regarding our team, the treatment procedures we offer, our approach, fees, patient testimonials etc. to ensure that you feel comfortable about booking your visit with us. We also ensure that our knowledgeable and approachable team are always available to help you with all of your queries.
At every stage we focus on clearly explaining what you can expect during the treatment, what measures we have taken to ensure full safety and how we can help you feel as comfortable as possible. In addition, we also can discuss additional options such as listening to calming music, using a stress-ball etc. to help distract your mind from focusing on the treatment itself. These steps on their own may seem minor. However, when they are skilfully used together and adjusted to match your specific needs, they can have significant positive impacts on your overall dental anxiety.
Support during consultation process
Your consultation visit is when one of our specialists will first see you in person. This is when we sit down with you and discuss your care needs holistically. At this stage, we will assess your gum health in detail and also explain how we can help you achieve the best oral health. We are not only focused on supporting your oral health, but also the physical, psychological and emotional aspects of your care. As each appointment may be slightly different, we can tell you what support for your anxiety looks like at each of your subsequent visits.
Dedicated treatment coordination sessions
We also provide a dedicated treatment coordination session after every consultation visit so that you can openly discuss your concerns and treatment needs in a more relaxed setting. Our dedicated treatment coordinators are key members of our team with years of experience in talking to people who are anxious about dental treatments. During this session, you can talk about anything that’s on your mind, and we will explain what we can do to make your visits as stress-free as possible and more comfortable.
Support during treatment visits
For people with mild-to-moderate anxiety, we can prepare you even before you attend any treatments by teaching you deep-breathing breathing exercises or other relaxation techniques which can help to calm your nerves. We are also mindful of sensory triggers of dental anxiety such as the clinical smell of a dental office, sound of the dental drill, sight of the needles etc. Therefore, our minimalistic practice design and aesthetics have been carefully considered to offer a calm and welcoming vibe. We have also invested in modern technology that have the latest design features to make the treatment process less daunting to patients, while offering superior clinical results. Our revolutionary Waterlase TM machine is one such equipment that delivers excellent clinical results. It also minimises the need for lengthy, more invasive procedures and it reduces the time patients need to spend on the dental chair. It can be reassuring to know that dental treatment does not always have to be long, stressful and inconvenient.
While undergoing treatment, one of the most common causes of anxiety and fear is the fear of pain. This may originate from a past traumatic experience or fear of needles. We therefore focus on making your treatment process as pain-free as possible. The difference lies in small details such as using a numbing cream even before administering any aesthetic and using least traumatic techniques. We can also use guided imagery (for example, by guiding you to visualise letting go of the stress stored in your body) to distract you from your fears. Loss of control over the treatment procedure may also be another significant cause for anxiety and we can teach you signals such as raising your hand if you need a break to offer you full control of the pace of the visit.
Support for dental phobia
In addition, we can also work with people who experience more severe anxiety or phobia and have an honest discussion about how we can further support you. Options such as treatment under sedation or referral arrangements for specialist support such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for dental phobia can also be discussed.
As we strongly believe that everyone should have access to excellent oral health care without their fears standing in the way, we are here to help you with it every step of the way. Get in touch with our friendly team now to let us know if we can help you.