Don’t Let Anxiety Prevent Your Return To The Dentist
Some helpful advice for nervous Chelmsford patients
For some, it might seem like a lifetime ago that we went into lockdown. It has been a difficult time for us all, and especially for those local dental patients who have suffered from problems whilst we have been closed.
Although serious cases may have been referred to urgent dental care units, there are probably some of you who have had to tolerate a persistent toothache for some time and have been unable to receive treatment for it, managing any discomfort by taking painkillers.
Following changes in government guidelines, we are now able to re-open on June 8th. We are still evaluating the guidance and hope to be able to advise shortly what procedures we are, and aren’t, able to carry out when we first open. Naturally, we will do all that we can to help those patients who are suffering first of all, before moving on to more routine care.
There is one category of patient that we wish to address in today’s blog though, and that is those who may have had their appointment cancelled due to the Covid-19 situation and whose anxiety may deter them from making a new one.
Dental anxiety and Covid-19
Dental anxiety is relatively common and operates at different levels. Many people likely feel at least a twinge of anxiety about seeing a dentist, but most will still attend and receive essential care. There are those though who are much more nervous and may find excuses and reasons not to go.
It is this latter group that we are particularly concerned about. A patient who already struggles with anxiety may find that this has increased with all the additional stresses of the last few months. Some of these will have previously struggled with their anxiety but still succeeded in attending our Chelmsford practice. However, others may have been ‘tipped over the edge’ by the lockdown and feel that they are now unable to keep a new appointment.
Talk to us
We will gradually be contacting all patients who had appointments cancelled in order to arrange new ones. We are aware that, for some patients, this may present an opportunity to ‘disappear’ and opt out of dental care but w ask that you don’t do this. As dentists of many years, we do understand that some people feel really anxious but it is really important that you do come to see us. There are ways in which we can help you and ask that if you are considering ‘dodging’ the dentist, that you talk to us so that we can find a way to help.
Our dentists are highly experienced and also provide a very patient friendly approach. A calm manner is essential for a good patient/dentist relationship and we are sure that you will find our team will help you to remain relaxed with a calm and relaxed chairside manner.
All of our surgery equipment is modern and highly efficient. This, combined with the use of a powerful local anaesthetic means that treatments can be carried out as quickly as possible with the minimum of discomfort.
Why you should keep your appointment
Most nervous patients already know this, but may be in denial. If you avoid seeing your dentist for routine care, it will ‘catch up’ with you eventually. A small cavity that could easily be filled with the smallest of fillings won’t stay that way for long. The bacteria within the cavity will continue to compromise the enamel and eventually the dentin area of the tooth. This area is more porous and you are likely to experience discomfort once it reaches this point. If you continue to ignore the problem, perhaps aided by painkillers, it will not stop there. Not only is the pain likely to get worse but the cavity becomes bigger, possibly causing the tooth to break and causing problems with eating.
Root canal infections and abscesses may also occur. At this point, even the most nervous patient is likely to contact Blue Sky Dental for an appointment. Although nowhere near as bad as some fear, a root canal procedure is quite invasive, much more so than the small filling that you avoided before.
The point is that, with good home care and regular professional supervision, most treatments can be few and relatively minor, whereas poor home care and no intervention is a recipe for ongoing problems.
We urge our more nervous patients to make and keep a new appointment with us when we re-open and we will try to help you all of the way.
We will contact you to rearrange cancelled appointment shortly, but in the meantime, if you have a query, please call us on 01245 211070.