People who feel nervous about seeing their dentist are far from alone. The Oral Health Foundation has reported that nearly half of adults in the UK experience anxiety when it comes to getting a check-up or other dental treatment. This anxiety can put people off getting professional help with looking after their teeth, which can have poor consequences for their health.
Effects on health
People who don’t visit their dentist for check-ups and to get their teeth professionally cleaned are more likely to have impaired oral health. This increases the likelihood of bad breath, gum disease and dental complications that cause discomfort or pain.
Poor oral health can also impact on a person’s general wellbeing. As well as potentially being less confident in one’s appearance; people can be at greater risk of all kinds of other health issues if they haven’t had expert help to take care of their teeth.
Talk to the dentist
Patients who feel anxious about getting a check-up or treatment should talk to the dentist or orthodontist. An experienced professional will listen to and address any worries and concerns of their patients; and seek to reassure regarding the relative simplicity and comfort involved in any treatment needed.
Explore relaxation techniques
Meditation, mindfulness and deep breathing can all be used as tools to help alleviate any stress about visiting the dental professional. All these techniques can help to focus the mind on relaxation and distract from any examination or treatment being given.
Some patients have found that listening to music can help them to relax when visiting the dentist. Focusing on the melody and lyrics can act as a means of reducing anxiety and help people to let go of any niggling worries. The fact that all that is needed is a smart phone and a set of earphones is an added bonus!
Bring a friend
Patients who want to overcome any worry they have about getting dental treatment can benefit from bringing a friend or family member to the appointment. This person can actively help the patient to focus on something else by talking to them about something of interest, asking questions; and even cracking a joke or two!
Get expert help
Choosing a dental professional that has specialist expertise in dealing with anxious patients like dentist Meath (who accept medical card holders) can really improve the experience. As well as being able to offer increased support and reassurance, these dentists can offer sedation for patients who need a little extra help. This is administered via an IV line, so whether the patient is having a filling or dental implants; the treatment can be as relaxed and comfortable as possible.
People who are anxious about visiting the dentist shouldn’t let it put them off getting check-ups or treatment. Instead, they should talk to an empathetic professional about their concerns, and take steps to alleviate any issues. By doing this, patients can preserve their oral health – and protect their health in general.