Don’t Let Dental Phobia Contribute To Unhealthy Teeth And Gums

Lockdown may have exaggerated this problem for some of our Epsom patients.

nervousAs many of our patients will know, we have had to cancel a significant number of previously made dental appointments. As we had to close suddenly due the Covid-19 situation, this will have included some scheduled treatment appointments as well as a large number of check ups. A few of those awaiting treatment may have since had these carried out at an urgent dental care hub if the problem became more urgent, but for most patients, it now means waiting until such a time that we can open again and treatments or check ups can be performed.

This is an inconvenience at the very least, and for some patients it probably also means managing discomfort from dental pain by using painkillers. This is a far from ideal situation and we will try to address it as soon as we possibly can.

There is one category of patient that we are particularly concerned about and that is those who suffer from dental anxiety, or phobia.

A challenging time

As anyone who suffers from significant anxiety about seeing a dentist will know, it can be a real challenge to overcome this enough to actually go through with the visit. Because of the additional challenges surrounding the Coronavirus and the isolation of lockdown, it is quite likely that these patient’s anxiety levels will have become even higher and there is a real possibility that they may not follow through with any rearranged visits when we are able to offer them.

As we have said before, the Clock Tower Dental Clinic firmly believes that preventative dental care is essential to keep teeth healthy and to avoid invasive treatments brought along by a failure to have oral health professionally monitored. We do encourage patients suffering in this way to do their best to see us and to call us if you are feeling especially anxious so that we can try to help the situation.

As we know, failure to detect and treat dental problems in the early stages will almost certainly mean that the problem will worsen and require even more invasive treatment than would have been the case initially. Usually, when it reaches this stage, not having treatment is no longer an option, even for the most nervous patient.

How we can help you

Remember, when we call you to rearrange your appointment; if you are feeling anxious, we are able to help you through this so that you can receive your treatment or check up. There are a number of ways in which we can do this.

Our friendly approach – Although it may not be especially helpful for those with very severe anxiety, most nervous dental patients find that the manner and attitude of the team at Clock Tower Dental helps them to get through it. We offer a friendly and relaxing service and will do all that we can to help you feel at ease during your visit to our Epsom practice.

The Wand – For a lot of patients, it is the ‘needle’ that creates the most fear. This is used to apply a local anaesthetic, without which it would not be possible for the procedure to take place. We are able to offer local anaesthetic in the form of “The Wand”, a pain free method allowing patients to avoid this sometimes stress inducing part of a procedure.

Sedation – Where anxiety is very severe, it is likely that a patient will really benefit from having IV sedation so that they can have their procedure. This sedation is not like the older ‘knock out’ version and you will remain conscious throughout the treatment, albeit in an extremely relaxed state. This not only enables the patient to be fully relaxed but means that the procedure can be safely and promptly carried out by the dentist without the need to keep stopping due to patient anxiety issues. You will need to bring a responsible adult with you if you have this therapy to make sure that you arrive home safely afterwards as you will not be able to drive or take public transport home alone.

We currently have no further news when we will be able to open our practice again but we are hoping that it will be soon. Once we are open, we will gradually be contacting patients to rearrange appointments. We will do our best to prioritise the most urgent ones, followed by routine check ups. Remember, even if you are anxious about seeing a dentist, it is essential that you do so and we will help you as much as we can to receive both treatment and ongoing oral health monitoring.

For those who require urgent emergency dental care whilst we are still closed, you can call the Clock Tower Dental Clinic on 01372 720136 to receive guidance on what to do next.