As soon as you open the letter, you feel your heart sink in your chest; a dental check-up reminder.
While dentistry has advanced in terms of its comfort and its cosmetic outcomes, many people who have had a negative experience in the dental chair are far from eager to return to it.
While it is human nature to avoid situations that have caused us pain in the past, if you fail to attend dental check-ups at least twice a year, you’re putting yourself at risk of more serious dental issues.
So, what can you do? Luckily, there is an answer!
Today, many dental professionals are able to offer the most nervous patients a range of options, to make their treatments easier to manage; long gone are the days of the dentist who will lecture you for having plaque (phew!).
When you visit a dentist in Edinburgh now, simply explain that you are a nervous patient and they will probably offer you one of the following solutions.
More open communication
It can be an unnerving experience when there is a medical professional fumbling around in your mouth without telling you what they are doing! If this is the part of a dental check-up that concerns you, simply ask for a more open line of communication with your dentist in Edinburgh.
This will keep you in the know, so to speak, and may make you feel more comfortable and in control in the dental chair.
Music and audiobooks
Is it the sounds of the dental surgery that you find off-putting? Even the quietest dental drills can create a fair amount of noise, which can put anyone on edge!
Ask your dental team about wearing a headset, listening to music, a guided meditation or even an audiobook. As the headphones won’t be in the way, they can allow your dental team to perform whichever treatments they need to, while you listen to your favourite audiobook.
Nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
If you need a bit more help relaxing, many dental surgeries are able to offer nervous patients nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas.
As you inhale this through a mask, you will feel more relaxed and happy about the situation (hence why it is called laughing gas), allowing both you and your dental team to proceed without stress or worry.
When you aren’t a fan of inhaling gas, or simply require something a little more to help calm your nerves, many dental surgeries are able to offer sedation tablets.
A common option, these help you reach a semi-conscious state, in which you are able to respond to the instructions of the dental team but are unaware of the room around you. After this wears off, you can go about your day as usual.
Intravenous (IV) sedation is the perfect option if you are truly scared of dental work. Just ensure you have a friend or family member to take you home afterwards and don’t operate heavy machinery during the following 24 hours.
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