Have you had bad dental treatment in the past?
With a passion for our patients and the work that we do to keep you smiling, we strive to ensure that everyone receives the best in dental care. That said, you may have had bad dental treatment in the past that is making it difficult for you to get the important oral health checkups and procedures that you need to maintain dental wellness. We hear quite often from patients that they have had a painful or otherwise bad experience in the past. It’s always something that we take seriously. The dentist chair and important oral wellness treatments don’t have to be shrouded in fear, anxiety, or mystery. There are several solutions that can not only make your appointments easier but help you to get through each of the necessary treatments and procedures that can keep your smile healthy and bright.
Things our patients have said
Some of the things that our patients have said have been quite alarming to us. As dental professionals it is our responsibility to ensure that your comfort is prioritized through every step of the way.
Previous experiences have led our patients to tell us some of the following.
- I didn’t understand why I needed that treatment. My dentist didn’t explain things to me.
- My mouth was not numb enough during the procedure.
- I have extreme sensitivity, and no one listened to me.
- I felt too much pain.
- The pain started even before the procedure did.
- The procedure took too long.
- I felt pressured into making decisions I wasn’t ready to make.
- I didn’t get help with pain after.
- No one explained what to expect after my procedure.
As frequently as we hear things like this, we can understand how dental anxiety and an overall fear of the dentist can grow. It can also mean delaying or completely avoiding important dental treatments that can help to save your smile.
The concerns with delaying treatment
A previously bad dental experience can keep you from completing the treatments that you need. Unfortunately, a dental problem won’t fix itself. Over time, what may have been a small concern that was an easy fix can develop into a larger concern. These larger concerns could require more invasive, complex, and costly treatments in order to get you out of discomfort and restore oral health. In many cases, by the time you’ve begun to experience discomfort and pain, it can be too late to save a tooth. This does mean that you’ll need to contend with the potential for an extraction.
This does, in turn, lead to the potential for more stressful visits to the dentist. It’s a vicious cycle that need not be. Our intent is not to scare you further. We can help you with your anxiety, help to keep you informed every step of the way. And make going to the dentist something that you actually look forward to.
Delving into dental anxiety
Just what is dental anxiety? Those who struggle with dental anxiety are those who have fears about both the known and the unknown aspects of a visit to the dentist. These are men and women who opt to rather avoid the dentist and delay treatments. Until there is no other choice. When an individual struggles with dental anxiety, they may be triggered by any number of things associated with a dental visit. The idea of needles, the sound of the drill. The setting of a dental office itself. If you’ve had a previously bad experience, it is understandable that you could find yourself suffering from anxiety about it all. You are concerned that a visit to the dentist could repeat the bad experiences. You are worried about the levels of discomfort and pain you may feel. While we hate to hear that anyone could have anxiety about the work that we are so passionate about, we do understand it. We take your anxiety and your concerns very seriously.
Coping strategies after a bad dental experience
Despite our previous experiences, current fears, and deep anxiety, there are coping strategies that can help many of us. We’ve got a few tips to help you learn the best coping strategies to help you break away from the burden of anxiety.
- Distraction therapy. When our focus is elsewhere, we can’t wholly focus on overthinking and anxiety. Distraction therapy can be found in a few easy forms, including watching TV, listening to music or a podcast.
- Deep breathing. Deep breathing techniques are a relaxation technique seen to be helpful in stressful situations. You will take in a deep breath, hold it for a count of five, and slowly exhale. In addition to be a distraction technique, this form of focused breathing will help to relax your tense muscles and slow your heart rate.
- Prearranged signals with the dentist. If you feel you may benefit from a break during a procedure, signal to your dentist. Just a few minutes of being able to breathe or take a quick stretch can help to refocus an anxious mind.
- Relaxing your muscles. When you’re anxious, you’re also often feeling tenseness in your muscles. Muscle relaxation techniques can help. This is also another good distraction technique. Flex and relax your different muscle groups, one at a time. This will allow you to direct your focus onto your movements. It can also help your body to release some of the tension and stress.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy. This is a good approach for those who live with anxiety in general. CBT can help you to understand the importance of your dental treatment. But can also help you to better focus away from the anxiety surrounding it. This is a long-term strategy that many find helpful.
- Anti-anxiety medications. You may be hesitant to try medications to help you cope with anxiety during a procedure, but they can help you to get through it. This is a personal decision that you should speak to your dentist about.
One of the above methods may be the perfect solution for you. You may also find benefit in combining a few methods so that you can get through your treatment without delay.
How we’d like to help
The first thing that we’d like to do is to listen. Any dentist should take the time to listen to the patients their concerns have. We want to hear what you’ve experienced.
This will allow us to do our best to avoid repeating this negative experience. Your treatment can be tailored to meet your needs and to your individual dental health needs. The next step for us will be to evaluate previous dental treatment that has been successful for you. What set that experience apart from the poor experience? Many bad experiences at the dentist are rooted in a lack of good communication. We will make sure that we spend time with you to explain things completely.
All questions will be addressed and answered prior to treatment. We will also make sure that you don’t feel pressured to start treatment. Your trust is important to us. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to do the jobs that we all love so much. If you’re struggling with anxiety about a procedure you need, reach out to us and let’s start a conversation that will get your smile back!