Fear can often be traced back to an unpleasant or painful procedure, usually at a young age. The brain automatically associates the sight, sounds & smell of the current visit with the past bad experience. The resulting anxiety releases adrenaline, which heightens all sensations including pain. Awareness of this process is a big step in overcoming your fear of the dentist or anything else for that matter!
In almost 20 years of experience as a dentist, I have yet to meet a nervous patient who I have not been able to successfully treat. In fact, some of my most nervous patients at their first visit with me are now some of my most loyal and regular patients today.
What I Do to Help Nervous Patients
- The first step I take is to develop a rapport with my patient. I give them the opportunity to talk about their dental experience. Was there an incident that has made them anxious? Is it the needle, the vibration of the drill or something else that they fear? What can I do or not do to make the visit more pleasant?
- Giving my patients a feeling of control is also very important. If they are feeling any pain or need to stop for whatever reason, my patients know that all they have to do is raise their hand & I will stop work to find out what is troubling them.
- Over the years I have found that some people like to know exactly what is going on so they can mentally prepare themselves for the sensations they will experience. Others take the ‘I don’t want to know what you are doing” approach! Knowing you, allows me to modify my treatment style to be compatible with your needs.
- Being able to focus on something else is also a useful strategy to prevent the phobia overpowering you. A large overhead television with relaxing images and gentle background music provides a pleasant distraction. Alternatively, you can bring in your own I-POD with your own selection of music, which has the benefit of further reducing some of the noises associated with a dental visit.
- Most patients find the above techniques enough to help them through their appointment. For those very anxious patients, I use one of two techniques. Nitrous Oxide or “happy gas” is inhaled through the nose and helps patients to relax. Its effects wear off quickly which allows patients to drive to and from their appointment.
Alternatively a single dose of Valium usually taken an hour before the appointment is another means of providing a similar effect but as it has a long lasting effect, the patient must be driven to and from their appointment.
Contact your Beenleigh Dentist at Alex Bratic Dental Care today!
Alex Bratic Dental Care is conveniently located on City Road at Beenleigh. We are close to transport and our onsite parking is free and very easy to access.
For all Health Fund Members our HICAPS facility enables payments to be processed at the time of the appointment, which means members, are only required to pay the difference between the charged fee & the Health Fund Rebate (gap fee).
Contact us on (07) 3287 2627 or simply book your appointment online.