Has Your Dental Anxiety Increased This Last Year?

Burton dentist, Mike Allen, looks at why lockdown may have worsened dental fears.

It was just over a year ago when the country first went into lockdown. Since then, we have had a number of restrictions placed upon our lives. Thankfully though, despite a few ‘hiccups’, it does now look like things are finally changing for the better and that we can hope for some sort of normality in the not too far off future.

As many patients of Mike Allen’s Dental Surgery will be aware, dentists have also had restrictions placed upon them which has meant that getting a non urgent appointment has been more difficult. This means that, for some, no visits will have been made to see a dentist during this time. We are optimistic that this will soon change and we will be able to start seeing our usual number of patients again. For those who are generally nervous about their appointments though, this last year could have added extra concerns.

Increasing anxiety

If you are someone who is naturally anxious about their health, the daily news diet of deaths and hospital admissions may not have helped the situation. You may also have started to use social media in an attempt to learn more. Unfortunately, as we know, this doesn’t always mean that you are getting correct information and ‘fake news’ may have also caused your anxiety levels to rise. For those who fear their dental visits, there may be concerns that because you haven’t had a check up for a long time; when you do go, the dentist may find lots of things wrong with your teeth and you might start to imagine all sorts of treatments that you might need.

Addressing your fears

Dental phobia is a big problem and one that can deter people from having even routine dental care. Eventually, of course, failing to have regular professional monitoring often means that when you do finally have to have treatment, it is likely to be more extensive than if you had had your teeth checked regularly. For this reason, it pays, where possible, to see one of our Burton dentists for regular check ups. Given that this has been more difficult this last year, let us first address this issue.

To answer the question of whether you will need more treatment because you haven’t had your teeth checked for a year; the honest answer is ‘possibly’. A lot will depend on how well you have looked after your teeth. On the positive side, if you have previously had a check up and no treatment was needed, that would mean approximately a year with no treatment. This should give hope to those who are imagining the worst.

We know that for some people, even minor dental work can be challenging, but delaying your dental visit only means that you may well face more extensive treatment further down the line.

We know that some of you have concerns about your dental visits and we are here to help! So please talk to us about this when you book your appointment.

Getting back on track

The important thing for all of us, once things return to ‘normal’ is to get back on track with our oral health. This will mean having a check up and any subsequent treatment that is required. It is also an opportunity to make a fresh start with your oral health care and one thing that we would certainly recommend, for those that don’t already, is to make an appointment to see the hygienist at Mike Allen’s.

An appointment with the hygienist is a great opportunity to discuss ways that you can look after your teeth and gums better. This will also help you to avoid some of the treatments that you might otherwise have needed.

The hygienist will also give your teeth and gums a professional cleaning. This is a non invasive treatment that removes hardened bacteria and minerals from the teeth and gum line. It will remove a rough surface that attracts bacteria and causes a number of common oral problems. Keeping this under control will reduce your risk of gum disease and tooth decay and will also make your mouth feel fresher.

All of our Burton dental team are aware that these are challenging times, and for our anxious patients, perhaps even more so. Please be assured that when you attend our Burton practice for treatment, or even for a check up, you can be sure that we will do all that we can to help you relax and feel as comfortable as possible during your visit.

For more information on how we can help nervous patients, please call Mike Allen’s Dental Practice on 01283 845345.