Dental Anxiety

Fear of dental visits and dental treatment has a wide variety of causes and can often be traced back to a bad childhood experience. Family influences also come into play where stories, often exaggerated and embellished, lead to fearing forthcoming treatment. Fortunately modern dentistry is much better than in years gone by but I understand that for some patients, fear or phobia will always accompany thoughts of dental treatment.

There are ways to reduce anxiety of a forthcoming dental visit:

* arrange to have a pre-treatment discussion visit with your dentist. this way you will know that it will only be for a chat and the dentist should be happy to take time to discuss the proposed treatment and allay your fears

* try not to search the internet too much for information about your treatment. the web is full of good but also very bad advice and there is a temptation to latch onto the bad / worst case scenario advice. your dentist is the best person to advise you about exactly what to expect

* you can always have treatment under sedation. Adam offers this for any treatment from a simple scale and polish to full mouth complex implants. Patients may have particular aspects of treatment that they fear e.g. extractions and may be better having sedation for those occasions.

Frequently asked questions about sedation

Q. Am I asleep during treatment?
A. Most people will fall asleep although technically you can remain conscious unlike a general anaesthetic. The sedation causes amnesia (loss of memory) of the treatment so afterwards you will have no recollection of the event and will feel like you have slept through it all

Q. Is sedation safe?
A. Intravenous sedation used in dentistry has never had a fatality recorded. The prescription of sedation takes into account your medical history and current health. For this reason it is extremely important that you are honest about all tablets, pills medicines and drugs that you take

Q. I cannot find someone to escort me home afterwards, can I still have sedation?
A. No. It is a legal requirement and for your safety that we discharge you with a responsible adult escort. This person must come with you to the appointment, remain at the practice during your treatment and take you home afterwards. You must NOT drive for 24 hours or carry out any dangerous tasks in the same way that you wouldn’t if under the influence of alcohol

Q. Will I be suitable for sedation?
A. The majority of fit and healthy adults are suitable. There is no upper age limit and the technique takes into account of individual responses to sedatives. We titrate the amount of sedative used to reach the perfect level of relaxation for each patient and this can be varies according to the level of anxiety and the planned procedure