Helping to Put Nervous Patients at Ease

Looking after dental phobics at Arthur House Dental Care in Sutton Coldfield

It will come as no surprise to many of you reading this, that around half of the population have a fear of going to the dentist. This varies widely in degree with most eventually plucking up the courage to go, and nearly always of course wondering why they were so worried in the first place. However, we are totally sympathetic with those who are unfortunate enough to have a very real dental phobia and for these patients, we really do empathise and try as much as we can to help.

Visiting a dentist can be upsetting for some but here are Arthur House Dental Care, we do all that we can to ensure that our practice in Sutton Coldfield is a welcoming place to visit and that care is taken of all of our patients, whatever age they may be.

As well as ensuring that the environment itself is warm and relaxing with plenty of things to distract the patient from their worries, we also have taken into consideration some quite specific concerns some people have about dentistry, for example the use of mercury in dental fillings. As such, our whole practice is now completely mercury free. Although there are mixed opinions as to the safety of the use of mercury, we have taken the decision to err on the safe side and avoid its use altogether.

To make life easier for our patients, we endeavour to be as flexible as possible with appointments and it is possible to book evening and weekend sessions so that you never have to take time off work. This is especially helpful for those who work in industries where taking time off is difficult; this can often lead to the patient not attending checkups and consequently suffering from tooth decay or gum disease and we want to do as much as we can to help prevent this.

Whilst we do all that we can by keeping our environment relaxing and ensuring that we communicate with our patients in a warm and welcoming manner, there are some patients for whom the fear of the dentist is quite severe. Usually these patients have tried the usual techniques such as relaxation or meditation and have found that it doesn’t help, or at least not enough for them to overcome their dental phobia.

For these patients, we offer the option of conscious sedation. This is administered by our consultant anaesthetist and can be administered according to the degree of anxiety felt by the patient. For those with a relatively mild fear, but still enough to prevent them from visiting otherwise, light sedation can be given. This helps to relax the patient during any procedure but is relatively mild. Heavier sedation can be given to those whose fear is intense. This sedation does not make a patient unconscious but allows them to remain awake during the procedure albeit in a very relaxed state. It should be noted that any patient having sedation should not attempt to drive or even take public transport afterwards as they will feel quite woozy. It is strongly recommended that a friend or colleague attends with them to ensure that they get home safely.

Whilst we can’t prevent our patients from feeling nervous, we hope that we do all that we can to help to make the experience the least traumatic one possible. We are always looking to improve on this so if you have any suggestions, please do let us know. If you fear the dentist, why not give our friendly team a call and we will be delighted to help.