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Overcoming Dental Anxiety – Top Tips To Help You Relax At The Dentist

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022

We often come across people who are so afraid of going to the dentist’s office that they would rather bear the agony of a toothache than seek dental treatment. If you are also one of these people, then you’re not alone. Research shows that over 36% of the global population suffers from some form of dental anxiety, while another 12% suffer from extreme dental phobia. However, the good news is that dental anxiety and phobia can be easily managed

In this blog, we will understand what dental anxiety is and offer various tips that can help you overcome your fears. So, continue reading and learn effective methods to overcome dental phobia

What Is Dental Anxiety, And How Many Ways Can One Reduce It?

Dental anxiety refers to the feeling of uneasiness when visiting the dentist’s office. Dental anxiety can range from mere nervousness to a full-blown phobia of dental treatment. In some cases, the fear of treatment is general, meaning that the patient is unaware of their specific fear but would simply avoid visiting the dentist. Others have specific phobias, like the fear of needles, the fear of the sound of the drill, or a previous bad experience. 

Why Are Many People Afraid Of Going To The Dentist?

You would be amazed to find how many people fear dental treatment. According to an estimate, around 53% of Britishers have some form of dental phobia. So, it’s quite a common problem these days. But fortunately, there are solutions available to overcome this issue, thanks to modern dentistry and cognitive behavioural therapy. 

How Do You Talk To Your Dentist About Dental Anxiety?

Living with the fear of dental treatment is not an option. By avoiding dental checkup appointments, you are not only putting your oral health in danger, but also your physical well-being and, most importantly, your smile and self-confidence. 

So, the best thing to do is to face it head-on. When you visit your dentist’s office before they start your treatment, tell them about your fears and apprehensions. You should be very specific about your concerns. This way, your dentist can avoid things that make you uncomfortable during treatment. For example, if you have had a previous bad experience, or if you’re scared of the sound of the dental drill, your dentist may consider performing your treatment under conscious sedation, whereby you won’t remember anything about the procedure but would be able to respond to the dentist’s instructions. Similarly, you may also distract yourself by watching a movie or listening to your favourite music during treatment. 

How Do You Combat Nerves Before Visiting The Dentist?

Unfortunately, many people find it challenging to muster up the courage to visit their dentist. If you are in the same situation, there are a few things that can help reduce your anxiety. First, you may ask your dentist to prescribe you an oral medication that will reduce your anxiety before you visit them. Secondly, you can ask the dental office staff to ensure you don’t have to wait very long in the waiting area. Finally, be open about your apprehensions and fears with the dental team so they can take good care of you during your visit. 

How To Find A Dentist Who Will Help You Keep Calm?

Dentists are trained in dental schools to look after extremely anxious or apprehensive patients. However, these days, many dentists are now undertaking additional training solely based on alleviating the fear of treatment in patients and helping them relax. If you are looking for a dentist who can help you overcome your fear of treatment, look for one who has extensive experience in treating such patients and has undergone additional specialisation such as cognitive behavioural therapy courses or is certified to perform treatment under sedation. 

How To Deal With Anxiety Regarding Daily Oral And Dental Care?

Some patients find it challenging to perform daily oral hygiene tasks such as brushing and flossing due to dental anxiety. For these patients, the best way to overcome their worries is to brush their teeth or floss when they feel most comfortable. Furthermore, they can enjoy listening to soothing music while they brush their teeth to reduce their anxiety. Finally, they may consider brushing their teeth with their family or a loved one to distract themselves from their dental anxiety. 

How Do Dentists Cope With Patients That Are Anxious Or Phobic?

Dentists have several tools under their belts to treat anxious patients. Some of these include:

  • Understanding the specific nature of a patient’s phobia and avoiding that during treatment 
  • Avoiding sudden moves during treatment that may frighten the patient 
  • Before performing any procedure, letting the patient know about it so that they feel in control 
  • Performing treatment under conscious sedation 
  • Using cognitive behavioural therapy

Do Doctors And Dentists Hate To See Anxious Patients?

All dentists are trained in dental schools to treat anxious or frightened patients. Although anxious patients require more time and care from the dentist, this absolutely does not mean that dentists hate afraid or apprehensive patients. Instead, they love to treat such patients and help them overcome their fears. So, if you also suffer from dental anxiety, don’t worry, your dentist loves you!

If you are looking for a gentle-dental practice in Oxford, the Smile Practice is your best option. You don’t even have to visit us for a consultation! Simply request a free video consultation appointment and discuss your dental issues with our experienced dentists in the comfort of your own home! So, book an appointment today and say goodbye to your dental worries!

What Can An Emergency Dentist Do?

Saturday, October 30th, 2021

What Can An Emergency Dentist Do?

Whether you need a dental filling or porcelain, most dental procedures are pre-planned and based on appointments. However, there are certain cases where immediate dental treatment is required. For example, if you or a loved one has uncontrolled bleeding due to an oral injury, this constitutes an emergency, and it must be treated right away. Dentists who specialise in providing immediate dental care in the case of an injury or life-threatening dental conditions are called emergency dentists. Unfortunately, many people do not understand a dental emergency and when to see an emergency dentist. If you are also wondering what an emergency dentist does, this article is for you. Continue reading to find out more about emergency dentistry. 

What Does An Emergency Dentist Do?

Emergency dentists are dental professionals who, in addition to being dentists, obtain additional specialisation and training to treat dental problems and injuries that may be potentially life-threatening and require immediate treatment. While dentists from other specialities only offer their services during business hours, many emergency dental offices are open round the clock or at least have emergency hotline numbers for patients to request an urgent appointment in the case of an emergency. 

What Is A Dental Emergency, And What Is Not?

According to the American Dental Association, any situation that may prove potentially life-threatening if not treated immediately is a dental emergency. For example, dental conditions involving uncontrolled bleeding, severe infections, and extreme pain constitute a dental emergency. On the other hand, cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening and veneers and non-essential. Hence, they are not considered a dental emergency. 

What Are The Common Dental Emergencies?

Some common dental emergencies include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Uncontrolled bleeding due to the accident or trauma 
  • Severe dental infection that extends to other body parts 
  • Pericoronitis – a condition where the soft tissues surrounding an impacted tooth get inflamed 
  • Dry socket – a painful condition related to clot dislodgement following tooth extraction
  • Tooth fracture or chipped teeth that cause pain 
  • Knocked-out teeth 
  • Dislodged filling or crown 
  • Something stuck between two teeth 
  • A dislodged orthodontic wire that impinges on oral soft tissues 
  • Dislocated or fractured jaw
  • Severe toothache that is not relieved with pain medication
  • Tooth decay that causes tooth sensitivity

What Do People Think Is A Dental Emergency But Actually Isn’t?

A dislodged orthodontic bracket may seem like a situation that needs urgent treatment. However, it is not. A dislodged bracket may delay your orthodontic treatment slightly but it is not something you should be extremely worried about. Unless you accidentally inhale the bracket – an actual emergency – you can wait until the next business day to fix the problem. 

How Long Can A Tooth Abscess Wait For Treatment?

A dental abscess forms inside the oral cavity due to long-standing dental infection that causes pus-filled collection in a localized region. If a dental abscess remains localized, it will cause significant pain, discomfort, swelling and redness in the area. However, if the infection travels to other body parts, it can constitute a medical emergency causing systemic symptoms like fever, lethargy and shortness of breath. Left untreated, an abscess can turn into a life-threatening dental emergency. Therefore, an abscess should be treated as soon as possible. The sooner the treatment is sought, the lower is the risk of side effects and complications. 

What Is An Emergency Root Canal Treatment?

A root canal treatment is a procedure in which your dentist will remove the inflamed pulp tissue from inside your teeth and replace it with an inert material. An emergency root canal is typically required when an infection of the dental pulp tissue builds up pressure inside the tooth and causes extreme pain and discomfort. In such cases, dentists usually drill a hole in the tooth and expose the tooth’s interior that houses the pulp tissue, to relieve the pressure and pain. After emergency treatment, the next steps of a root canal procedure are performed routinely. 

When Should I Contact An Emergency Dentist?

If you feel that you or a loved one are in a situation that requires immediate treatment, such as bleeding, knocked-out or fractured tooth, or severe dental abscess pain, you should contact your emergency dentist immediately. Even if you have an emergency after business hours or over the weekend, you can still contact your dentist over the emergency hotline for further advice. If you’re unsure whether it is an emergency or not, better to call your dentist and confirm with them. 

How Do You Determine If You Need Emergency Dental Work?

You may need emergency dental treatment if you have either of the following:

  • Bleeding 
  • Loss of dental function
  • Difficulty in opening or closing the mouth 
  • Severe toothache 
  • Swelling that causes fever and difficulty in breathing 
  • An avulsed or broken tooth 

How Can An Emergency Dentist Help You?

An emergency dentist is trained in treating all kinds of dental emergencies – from fractured teeth to dislocated jaws. For example, if you have an avulsed tooth and you manage to see your dentist right away, they may be able to put the tooth back into its socket so that it can re-attach. Similarly, your dentist may be able to re-attach a dislodged crown without the need for repair or replacement. Therefore, it is essential that you visit an emergency dentist as soon as possible when suffering from an injury or another emergency situation. 

I Have A Dental Emergency. What Should I Do?

Depending on the type of your emergency, take measures to minimise the damage. For example, in the case of bleeding, place a clean cloth over the area and gently press on it to control the bleeding. Alternatively, if you have an avulsed tooth, try reinserting in into its socket. However, don’t use excessive force if it does not sit properly in the socket. Meanwhile, you should call your dentist right away for an emergency dentist appointment. If you are out of town, walk into a nearby emergency dentist office or an ER for immediate treatment. 

If you or a loved one experiences a dental emergency in Watford, The Smile Practice is there to offer immediate treatment. Whether you have severe tooth pain or bleeding due to an injury, we will fix the issue in no time. We also provide high-quality non-emergency dental services to give you a beautiful, healthy, and attractive smile. So, if you want your entire family’s treatment done under one roof, book a free video consultation with us today, and we will be happy to take care of all your oral health issues.

Tooth Pain Relief – Top Tips to Help

Monday, September 6th, 2021

Imagine suddenly having a toothache on a Saturday night, just when you are about to go to bed! Undoubtedly, one of the most inconvenient and painful experiences of one’s life. Fortunately, there are ways in which toothache can be managed at home while you wait for a dentist’s appointment. This article offers various tips that can help you get rid of a toothache when it is not possible to see the dentist. 

How To Relieve Tooth Pain?

The first step in relieving a toothache is to identify its cause. Stand in front of the mirror and examine your teeth for any visible cracks or chips or any swellings that might be causing the pain. In some cases, a toothache can also occur if something is stuck between your teeth. You can remove this foreign object by inserting dental floss between the teeth and gently taking it out. Don’t use other sharp objects like toothpicks as they may injure your gums. In most cases, the pain goes away as soon as the causative agent is removed. However, if you cannot determine the underlying cause, taking over-the-counter pain medication may prove helpful while you wait for your dentist’s appointment. 

What Are The Home Remedies For Pericoronitis?

According to the National Health Service (NHS), pericoronitis refers to the inflammation of the soft tissues present around entirely or partially impacted teeth – mainly, the wisdom teeth. Maintaining optimal oral hygiene, especially around the impacted tooth, eating a soft diet and applying icepacks over the affected side’s skin are some measures that can help you minimise the pain and discomfort associated with pericoronitis. 

Is it Better To Gargle With Salt Water Or Peroxide?

Gargling with salt water or a peroxide solution are effective measures in treating dental problems. Hydrogen peroxide inherently possesses antibacterial properties. Hence, when you gargle with a peroxide solution, it will neutralise the harmful bacteria inside the oral cavity. However, when using peroxide, make sure not to swallow it as may it be harmful to the internal organs. Saltwater also possesses some antibacterial properties; however, the most efficient method is to use a combination of saltwater and peroxide – and spitting the solution out after gargling. 

What Are Some Home Remedies For Nerve Tooth Pain?

Nerve tooth pain occurs when the dental pulp of the tooth, which contains the blood vessels and nerves, gets inflamed. In the early stages, nerve tooth pain can be relieved with pain medication or remedies such as saltwater gargles, peppermint tea bags, thyme vanilla extract or clove oil. However, it must be kept in mind that these are only temporary measures, and you must seek professional dental help to get the underlying problem treated. 

How Can a Person Prevent a Tooth Infection?

Preventing tooth infections is easier than you think! All you need to do is maintain optimal oral hygiene through regular brushing and flossing. Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once every day. More importantly, never skip a checkup appointment with your dentist, as it goes a long way in keeping you healthy and free of dental problems. 

Why Should I Go To Urgent Care If I Have a Tooth Pain?

A toothache can occur due to several reasons – some of them are serious and need urgent attention. The NHS recommends seeing your dentist at the first opportunity if the pain:

  • Lasts for more than two days
  • Does not go away with painkillers 
  • You have high temperature, red gums or a bad taste in the mouth 
  • Your jaws and cheeks are swollen 

However, if you have any of the following symptoms, you must visit any nearby emergency of dental practice without delay:

  • The area around the jaws or neck is swollen 
  • Swelling in the mount is making it difficult for you to breathe, swallow, or speak. 

How to Numb Tooth Pain?

There are several ways to relieve tooth pain; either you can take any over-the-counter pain medication or rely on home remedies. Applying clove oil around the affected tooth is one of the best at-home options for getting rid of a toothache. Saltwater rinses are also effective in relieving dental pain. However, if the pain does not go away even with the remedies mentioned above, it is serious, and you must visit your dentist immediately. 

What is the Best Quick Relief From Tooth Pain?

Using a pain-relieving medication is one of the quickest and effective ways in relieving toothache. However, if anti-inflammatory medication is not available, you can use oil of clove or peppermint tea bags as well. Placing an icepack around the affected side of the face is also helpful in relieving the pain and swelling. 

I Have a Dental Emergency. What Should I Do?

Whenever in an emergency, the first thing you need to do is see your dentist right away. If the emergency arises during out-of-business hours, call them and seek advice over the phone. Every dental office has an emergency hotline for patients to call during an emergency. If there is uncontrolled bleeding due to an injury, it is best not to wait and visit any nearby hospital emergency for treatment. 

How Effective Is Clove Oil For Treating Toothaches?

Clove oil is being used for centuries for treating toothache. When applied around the affected tooth, clove oil numbs the area and relieves the pain. Besides, clove oil also has good anti-inflammatory properties, which accelerate the healing process. 

Dental emergencies come without warnings and often occur when least expected. If you or a loved one has a dental emergency in the future, make sure to seek professional help right away. If you live in or near Oxfordshire, you can visit The Smile Practice, whether you require routine dental care or emergency treatment. Our highly qualified and trained staff is there to take care of all your dental problems. So, book an appointment today and let us take care of your oral health. 

I am dropping a note to say thanks for all the work you have done for me, I am aware that I am not the easiest of patients. Your patience and explanations whilst work is underway was very much appreciated. The bridge work is really outstanding, here’s hoping I need nothing more than routine checks for some time.
- Mr R G
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