The Nervous Patient
We understand that receiving treatment from a dentist can be stressful for some.
If you are afraid to go to the dentist, rest assured you're not alone. The good news for you and others like you is that it is a common issue so we've dealt with this before and are prepared to support you and help you work through it.
Here are some of the things we do that might help you feel less apprehensive about your visit.
Have a chat - Let us know how you're feeling
Effective communication is the key to build up mutual rapport and trust. Dental fear can be very draining and to not give it the due respect it deserves would be inconsiderate and frivolous, often with devastating consequences. From our part, we explain what we are going to do, what to expect, and how it is likely to feel. From your end, you should feel confident about alerting your dentist if you are nervous or become uncomfortable in any way during your appointment. For example, it can be difficult for some people to keep their mouth open for longer periods of time, so taking regular short breaks during a procedure would be an important part of the appointment and this would be added to your records for future reference.
Much of what we do in dentistry carries a degree of discomfort, but with a gentle approach (like using a numbing gel prior to injection) this can be reduced to a minimum.
If you feel that you will still require additional help, we can then decide together on the best option for you, depending on the type of treatment required and your level of anxiety.
Nitrous Oxide/Happy Gas
It will help with the nerves and it has no lasting effects, so you will be able to drive after treatment.
Oral sedation / Valium
We may prescribe an oral sedative for you to take before treatment. This will help to reduce pre-appointment 'butterflies' and make treatment more comfortable. Additional sedation may be given at the time of your dental treatment to supplement the oral sedation. You will not be able to drive for at least 6 - 12 hours after their last dose of Valium.
General Anaesthetic referral
General anaesthetic (GA) may be required in certain cases where treatment in the chair is not possible. Young children, for example, who require extensive dental work may benefit from a GA referral.