Are you one of the thousands of people in London who are scared of the dentist?
While fear of the dentist, or dentophobia as it is known, is common, it can cause serious issues to both your physical and mental health.
It is normal to avoid things that scare us; if you were bitten by a dog as a child, chances are you may not be too fond of them as an adult. Similarly, if you had a bad experience at a dental surgery when you were young, or you were just introduced to dental check-ups too late, you are likely to be less than thrilled when you need to have them.
Luckily, in London, the majority of dental surgeries are supportive and compassionate towards phobic patients. When you are searching for a dentist in W1 to attend with a dental phobia, you may be amazed at the treatment options they can provide you with, to make your visits easier to manage.
Being more open
The days of the lecturing dentist belittling patients who present with plaque and decay is long gone; as this is one of the reasons why so many people developed a dental phobia in the past, it is not a loss to the industry!
Nowadays, inform any potential dental team of your worries and they will be able to offer you a variety of calming techniques, based on the level of your phobia while in the chair.
If you have a mild phobia, the team will discuss with you what they are doing at each stage and even devise a set of hand signals, so you can alert them when you need a break.
This gives you more control over the situation and shows you that dental professionals respect your individual needs as a patient.
Is it the sound of the drill that worries you?
A dentist in W1 will combat this common fear with the use of headphones, which play a range of relaxing sounds, music or even audiobooks. Ask the reception staff about bringing in your own set of headphones with your favourite music if you prefer; if it helps you relax, it will probably be acceptable!
Need a bit more than music?
Why not ask if any of the dental surgeries have televisions that you can watch? Many rooms designed for phobic patients to be treated in have televisions suspended from the ceiling, allowing you a comfortable position to watch from, while your dental team examines your teeth.
If your phobia is severe, then you will need to find a dental surgery that offers sedation.
There are 2 main types typically offered; nitrous oxide (or laughing gas), which is breathed in through a mask and will leave you partially conscious.
The second type is intravenous sedation (IV), which will leave you unconscious throughout the procedure. For this type, you will need to ensure that you have a responsible family member or friend to take you home after your procedure.