We particularly welcome nervous patients at Harwood Dental Care in Bolton and our principal dentists, husband and wife team Dipesh and Vilas Patel, have achieved additional qualifications in dental sedation to ensure you are in safe, gentle and experienced hands.
Dr Dipesh Patel is a Dental Phobia Certified dentist - Click here to verify.
A percentage of the population avoids the dentist due to anxiety and fear and if you are one of those people, please don’t suffer in silence as we can help. It is common to have dental phobia, so you are not alone, although almost all people who are anxious of the dentist overcome their fears when they visit us. Fear of the dentist prevents some patients from receiving necessary essential dental care and this can lead to problems with dental health and overall wellbeing, so we urge you not to ignore your dental health.
Why choose Harwood Dental Care if you feel nervous?
- Dental Phobia Certified dentist
- We offer a range of techniques to help you overcome dental fear
- Choose from dental sedation, distraction techniques or advice on hypnotherapy
- Unhurried appointments
- A calm, friendly and reassuring chairside manner
What are the best ways to overcome dental phobia?
We’ve spent a lot of time researching and learning about dental phobia, and have found that there are four main techniques for overcoming your fears about visiting the dentist. These are:
Hypnotherapy - Hypnosis is simply a form of relaxation and calmness. When you access this deep state of relaxation, it allows your mind and body to slow down and relax. Self-hypnosis techniques can be extremely effective in helping you overcome all forms of anxieties, fears and phobias.
- Distraction techniques - Distraction techniques can be a great way to overcome that nagging little voice of doubt in your head that tells you there’s something to be scared about when you visit the dentist. It’s the voice that concentrates on the sound of the drill or the thought of having an injection. A key strategy on overcoming fear and relaxing at the dentist is to learn to control this voice, so try this exercise now… it may seem odd, but try it as it will work brilliantly for you.
1) Say in your mind something mean about yourself.
Not anything too mean, but something that is important to you and has meaning for you, something like "You are a failure’, "You’ll never be any good at anything’… you know, the kind of thing we were told as kids and we keep with us as adults.
2) Now take that voice and remove it from your head and imagine it on your shoulder, allow it to keep saying those mean things.
Notice how it seems to have less power now that it is out of your head and on your shoulder.
3) Now hold your arm out straight in front of you, put your thumb up vertically, and imagine your voice coming from the tip of your thumb.
As you do this now, notice that even though the words are the same, the power of the voice is weaker.
4) Now give that voice on the tip of your thumb a comedic voice, something really funny and stupid. Allow it to say the same mean things, but allow that voice to say them from the tip of your thumb and in a comedic and funny voice.
Notice this time how the power is completely gone from that voice. Notice how YOU have controlled that voice to take away its power.
Now you have realised that YOU are in control of the nagging voice in your head, each time it mentions fear, then place it at the end of your thumb, give it a comedic funny voice and the power of that negative thought has gone.
Now you have this control over your inner voice, it may be a good time to send us a quick email to have a chat.
- A good working relationship with your dentist - If you trust your dentist then this helps enormously to begin the process of overcoming your fear. To help, we can do things like:
- Booking a morning appointment for you to get things out of the way so that you can relax for the rest of the day.
- Allowing you to bring a friend and discussing beforehand what you can talk about when you visit. This helps you to relax if you’re talking about something nice, perhaps a recent holiday.
- Giving you time to practice relaxation techniques such as self-hypnosis or even the little exercise listed above.
- Giving you time to talk to us openly without judgement so that we can genuinely listen to your concerns.
- Agreeing a stop signal with you, this will ensure that you are completely in control and can stop the treatment at any time.
- Dental Sedation - Patients travel from around the greater Manchester and Bolton areas to visit our practice because we’re able to offer intravenous sedation. This allows you to have any kind of dental treatment whilst feeling completely relaxed. One of the major benefits of sedation is that you may feel like the treatment has taken a matter of minutes when it actually may have taken hours. This allows complex dental treatment, which may normally take several visits, to be completed in fewer appointments.
Intravenous sedation is a very safe and reliable method of controlling dental anxiety and phobia. The sedation is given through a small needle in the crook of your arm and it will make you feel relaxed and calm. IV sedation allows you to interact with your dentist in a sleep-like state and you will remain conscious throughout your procedure. Your mouth will also be numbed with local anaesthetic.
What happens if you have IV sedation?
Prior to any treatment, you will be asked to visit the practice for an initial assessment. This will form part of your regular treatment plan. Your IV sedation experience will then follow sequence similar to this:
You may have a light meal/fluids for up to two hours before having sedation.
During your treatment and sedation you will not be completely asleep, rather, you will be drowsy, relaxed and pain-free during the procedure. Many practices call this Twilight Sedation.
You should arrange for someone to take you home from your appointment and be with you for 12 hours afterwards.
Does IV sedation have any side effects?
In four percent of cases of IV sedation, people report having a headache, while just 0.7% of people experience post-sedation nausea or vomiting. This is why we recommend that you have a responsible adult with you for 12 hours following the procedure.
You may not remember much about your dental treatment after IV sedation but many people like this intended side-effect as it means that they feel more relaxed about future treatment.
Would you like to find out more about dental sedation at Harwood Dental Care? You are very welcome to join us for a free initial consultation at our relaxing and friendly dental practice. Please call us on 01204 304568, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or book an appointment online.