Does the thought of attending a dental check-up cause you to sweat or become panicked? Have you had a bad experience with a dental team in the past that has made you less than eager to attend a check-up in the present? If so, you may be suffering from a dental aversion or phobia.
Unfortunately, as is the way with health care, this cannot be dealt with by avoidance. Not attending dental health appointments can create more extensive complications, which could have been handled at an earlier date if you had attended the check-up. Avoiding check-ups can also lead to decay, gum disease and indeed missing teeth, which is not something anybody who already has a dental phobia wants.
But what are some of the options available if you are a dental patient with a phobia who needs to see your dentist in Parramatta for an appointment? Read on to find out.
Many dental teams are aware that at least some of their dental patients suffer from phobias and so they can offer non-clinical appointments as a starting place. Here, you and your team can get to know one another. This will help you to see that your dental team are just humans who are looking to keep your health in check and can offer you advice on how to maintain good oral hygiene at home. This is more suitable for people who have mild phobias, but it can do wonders when you are in the dental chair.
At the other end of the spectrum are the patients who have more extreme phobias and cannot even walk near a dental surgery without breaking out in a sweat. For these patients, the need for dental check-ups is still very much required for good health, but they may want help when getting into the dental chair. Depending on the team that you choose, they may be able to offer you nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to help you relax or intravenous sedation. Certain dental surgeries can also offer you oral sedation with the use of medications such as barbiturates, but this will require the green light from your dentist and your doctor before doing so. Should you take either oral sedation or intravenous sedation, you will need a family member or a friend to escort you home afterwards and keep an eye on you. You will also need to refrain from driving or operating heavy machinery for at least 24 hours after the treatment.
For dental patients in the middle of the road with their phobias, there is the option of distraction, which typically looks like listening to music or even an audiobook on a headset. Your dental team may be able to provide this for you, or they may allow you to bring your own into the surgery. This is great if you have a particular issue with the sound of the dental drill, for instance. Some dental surgeries also have television sets in certain rooms, so you can watch the TV while your dental team works on your teeth.
Remember, there is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to having a dental phobia, and almost every surgery is now equipped to manage patients who have anxiety. So simply state the issue when booking your appointment.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.