Written by Dr. Daz Singh
National Smile Month takes place 20 May – 20 June. It is an opportunity to educate and raise awareness of oral health matters by promoting three of the simplest messages: that people should brush their teeth for two minutes twice a day using fluoride toothpaste; that people should visit the dentist on a regular basis; and that people should limit their intake of sugary foods and drinks. It all sounds so simple, but the statistics don’t lie. More than a third of adults have been found to postpone getting dental treatment due to cost, and it doesn’t help when more than half of UK workers are not given paid leave for dental visits.
What if fear is standing in the way of your oral health? Fear of needles, fear of pain, fear of choking. It may sound like hocus pocus to some people, but the effects are real and can have a negative impact on a person’s dental health. We are here to tell you that you should not let a fear of the dentist stand in your way. The statistics have got it right, once again, with 60 per cent of people aged 65 and over being found to regret that they did not care for their teeth earlier in life. So please do not become just another statistic.
In the UK an increasing number of people are avoiding regular dental check-ups due to dental fears. The implications are far reaching and can lead to problems being left unidentified and untreated, leaving people in a situation where they run the risk of having to pay more for major dental treatment when, or if, they step into a dental practice. But everyone deserves access to dental treatment, and now.
Help is available through sedation
If your oral health is being affected by a phobia of the dentist then dental sedation is an effective solution to help you put your fears aside and get the treatment your teeth and gums need. There are dental practices investing in this area in terms of training and equipment, along with other patient care initiatives, to help patients receive treatment in a calm and comfortable environment. This also results in future appointments and check-ups being less stressful to attend, providing real long-term benefits to your oral health.
Benefits of sedation
- Helps patients to remain calm and relaxed
- Reduces symptoms of fatigue associated with extended dental treatments
- Assists patients who struggle to become numb
- Means less time in the dental chair because the dentist is working with a relaxed patient
- Proven to be beneficial to patients with a range of dental fears
Are you a candidate for dental sedation?
This is an option which has proven to be effective when used with a range of dental treatments, ranging from a scale & polish and advanced periodontal treatment, to the placement of dental implants and crowns. If you are unsure whether or not you are a good candidate the following questions will improve your insight:
- Do you become nervous about visiting the dentist?
- Does a particular dental treatment make you nervous?
- Have you been left mentally scarred by a previous traumatic experience at the dentist?
- Do you have difficulty becoming numb?
- Are you scared of needles?
- Do you have difficulty controlling your movements due to conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease or Cerebral Palsy?
If the answer is yes to one or more of the above questions then dental sedation is an effective means of improving your comfort in the dental chair and making sure that treatment is always unattainable.
Ollie & Darsh are a specialist cosmetic dentist based in Liverpool.