Overcoming dental fear for better oral health.
It is a well documented fact that a significant portion of people in the UK suffer some degree of dental phobia. This can range from a simple, slightly worried state to absolute terror for an unfortunate few.
Dental care though plays an important part in our overall health and, as well as ensuring that our teeth and gums are in good condition, may also have other roles to play. For example, a dentist is in a prime position to spot early potential signs of oral cancers and, if anything suspicious is spotted, will refer you to your doctor.
Some dental issues such as gum disease have also been linked with heart disease. This may prove to be an important discovery in the early treatment of heart problems although research is at an early stage at the moment.
At Beau Monde Dental Care, as you might imagine, we see patients all the time who feel uncomfortable about dental visits. We are very fortunate to have Dr Catherine Spalding as part of our team at our Bristol practice who has studied medical hypnotherapy and recognises the importance of ensuring that a patient is relaxed during their visit.
There are a number of theories about why people fear the dentist so much. Perhaps one of the most convincing, apart from those who have had a previous bad experience, is the fact that dental work takes place so close to all of the major sense organs ; i.e. eyes, nose and the brain.
With modern dental anaesthetics though, the fear of pain should really not come into the equation as these are very effective and even fairly invasive dental procedures such as root canal therapy, should not be too uncomfortable.
There are a few things which you may like to try at home to help you to relax prior to a dental visit.
Relaxation exercises or even meditation may help some people. These help you to achieve a relaxed state and to put things into perspective. Even simple breathing exercises are likely to help you to relax.
Herbal teas and remedies may also help and are certainly likely to be of more use than coffee for example, which is likely to have the effect of making you feel edgy.
In severe cases, your doctor may be able to prescribe a short term relaxant although this may depend on your own medical history.
Keep Up Regular Appointments
However bad your fear though, you should always keep your dental appointments. Doing so will ensure that any problems that arise can be treated early on and will be much less invasive than if left to get worse. A good example of this is gum disease, where early treatment may simply involve better cleaning techniques, but, if left to advance to the stage where periodontitis sets in, removal of a number of teeth may be required.
If you have not seen a dentist for some time and would like to put yourself back on the road to having good dental health again, please call our Bristol dental practice on 0117 330 3495Google+