Dental phobia is a serious and often paralyzing fear of seeking dental care. Fear is a learned behaviour which, therefore, can be unlearned.
Explanation of any and all procedures proposed is your right as a patient. If you have a question about a particular procedure, ask it! with the knowledge you can remove fear of the unknown. You should have input into treatment decisions and choices. You should be honest with your dentist regarding how much treatment you think you can tolerate at first. As you build confidence in yourself and trust in the team that is caring for you, the length of your appointment and the amount of work accomplished will increase.
You are in Control
A signalling system will be employed allowing you to stop for any reason, whether it be because you need more anaesthesia, want to rinse, or simply need a break. The most common signal is raising your hand.
Never be embarrassed
If you have been ridiculed in the past for your behaviour or if you are embarrassed by your present dental condition caused by your neglect, please don’t be. Express your concerns, you will be amazed at the wealth of treatment options that you might not have thought were possible. With modern dentistry, it’s never too late to recreate a new smile!
A relaxed body promotes a clear and relaxed mind. If you feel tense in the chair, the easiest way to relax is through forms of physical relaxation. It is difficult to be physically relaxed and mentally anxious at the same time! Physical relaxation methods are easy to
accomplish, so practice forms of physical relaxation such as Deep Breathing, Progressive muscle relaxation and various methods of taught yoga.
Many patients feel engaging in various distraction techniques helpful. The use of a Walkman, or MP3 player is a common technique, we have safety spectacles with a built in MP3 player, so ask for these if you feel they would help.
Predictable Pain Control
Modern dentistry has many new techniques with regards to the administration of local anaesthetics to block any possibility of pain. There are many people who have anatomical or biological variations that do require more individualized techniques in order to achieve proper local analgesia; we have four types of local anaesthetic as our experience has shown that not everyone responds to the standard type. The needle itself is not the major cause of discomfort, but the pressure temperature and volume of fluids being injected so all injections are given slowly and the anaesthetic is warmed to body temperature.
Patience and understanding will convert almost any dental phobic but in extreme cases we can refer for intravenous sedation to help you through your treatment.