Nervous patients welcome
Most dental procedures are not painful, but at The Smile Practice in Oxford and Didcot we understand that you may feel apprehensive about visiting the dentist. A phobia is characterised by an intense, irrational fear. If you suffer from dental phobia you might have put off routine dental care for years or even decades. This could mean you’ve put up with periodontal disease (gum disease), tooth pain or even a broken tooth.
At The Smile Practice, we have found that people with dental phobia are at a higher risk of early tooth loss and gum disease. Avoiding the dentist might also have an emotional impact as well, as damaged or discoloured teeth can make you feel insecure or self-conscious. People with dental phobia may also suffer from poorer general health, as poor oral health has been linked to serious conditions such as lung infections and heart disease.
If dental phobia isn’t treated, it will only get worse over time. Yet it is treatable and our friendly team at The Smile Practice welcome nervous patients and are here to help you overcome your anxiety and have a comfortable and positive dental experience.
Causes of dental phobia
Dental phobia can develop for a number of different reasons, including:
- Pain – you might have a fear of pain that is contributing to your dental phobia. This is often caused by early dental visits that took place before modern, pain-free dental advances became available.
- Loss of control and feeling helpless – it is common to develop phobias about situations in which you have no control. This helpless feeling can trigger anxiety in the dental chair if you feel you can’t see what’s going on or can’t predict how the treatment will feel.
- Embarrassment – If you haven’t visited the dentist for a long time you might feel embarrassed about your teeth, especially if you’re self-conscious about the way they look.
Symptoms of dental phobia
Some symptoms of dental phobia include:
- Feeling tense or having trouble sleeping before a dental appointment
- Increasing nerves when you’re in the waiting room
- You feel strong emotions when you think about going to the dentist and seeing dental instruments increases your anxiety
- You feel physically ill when you think of visiting the dentist
- During appointments, you panic or have breathing difficulties when dental instruments are placed near your mouth
If you experience any of the above symptoms, please tell one of our friendly staff members at The Smile Practice. You’ll soon overcome your fears and feel comfortable and calm in our warm, relaxing environment. We will also adapt our treatment methods to ease your anxiety and make your appointment as stress-free as possible.