Unfortunately, some people may have had negative experiences during dental appointments, especially if procedures done as a child resulted in pain and discomfort. This can go on to shape how they view visiting the dentist for the rest of their lives and create anxiety around the most basic procedures. We are here to say that Dentistry does not have to be painful!
Our dedicated team has recognises dental anxiety and responded with Gentle Dentistry.
What is Gentle Dentistry?
Gentle dentistry is for anyone who has fear, anxiety, or stress about going to the dentist. It can be helpful for people with a history of bad experiences or those who simply have a low threshold for dental pain. Gentle care dentistry practices are designed to put you in a relaxed mood and incorporate specific techniques that your dentist uses throughout your procedure.
Dental phobia is anxiety people have around visiting the dentist and the procedures that are performed on them. Triggers include unpleasant smells, hearing the whirring sound of a drill, seeing a needle, being unable to breathe or communicate using voice.
Feelings of physical illness, trouble breathing, and severe dentist anxiety are common, so never be ashamed about them or feel you are alone. Dental phobia can be overcome by working with a patient-centric dental team.
How Gentle Dentists Approach Dental Care
The gentle dentist understands that it is normal to be afraid of dental procedures and receives the advanced training needed to reach out to anxious patients and take their needs into account when performing dental work on them.
- A gentle dentist will take all the time necessary to get to know a patient and what makes them comfortable before any procedures start
- They will not rush a procedure. They will walk you through every step of the procedure and explain what they’re doing at each stage so you know what to expect
- You can take as many breaks as you need and be updated on the procedure
- A gentle care dentist will not fast-track appointments. You decide together the best pace for the treatment plan
- Atmospheric aids are available for relaxation, such as neck pillows, blankets, facecloths, as well as access to refreshments, music, or TV to occupy your mind
- A gentle dentist is willing to discuss medications with you as well
Types of Dental Sedation
There are 4 main types of gentle dental sedation to support patients and reduce their dentist anxiety.
Local anaesthetic is a small shot given to the gum that quickly numbs the area being worked on, preventing the nerve endings from sending pain signals to the brain. Local anaesthesia can be used for most dental procedures, such as fillings, teeth cleaning, and teeth extractions. The patient’s vitals are monitored carefully by our experienced dentists during the entire procedure. Prior to administering your local anaesthetic we use a cotton tip with numbing gel that numbs the site prior to your injection.
Oral Sedation – not currently available with TGD
Oral sedation for our apprehensive patients who want to feel completely relaxed during their dental visit. This type of sedation is also helpful for patients with very sensitive teeth or gag reflexes, or for patients who have had traumatic dental experiences in the past.
The effect of oral sedation usually lasts around 6 hours, so it’s important to have someone drive you to and from your appointment.
Intravenous (IV) Sedation not currently available with TGD
Intravenous sedation is when you get a moderate sedating medication through your vein. It is a more powerful sedation option administered by anesthesiologists and works fast. It is especially effective for more complex cases. With this sedation, you are monitored at all times for safety.
You will remain awake and able to breathe on your own, but you will be deeply relaxed and feel drowsy throughout the entire procedure. You may not remember the experience at all, but if necessary, you can easily be roused during the procedure.
Nitrous Oxide not currently available with TGD
Nitrous Oxide sedation is laughing gas. It is a safe and effective solution for apprehensive children as well as adults who find dental visits stressful or traumatic.
Nitrous oxide is delivered through a mask placed on your nose. This gas helps you relax and sometimes laugh. The good thing about nitrous oxide is it wears off quickly! You will be able to drive yourself home after your appointment.
Benefits of Gentle Dentistry
If you suffer from dental phobia, a gentle dentist will do everything in their power to eliminate any pain and discomfort from the procedure, helping reduce your stress and dentist anxiety. They are trained to understand exactly how you feel and can help calm you down.
All options are based on patient preference and the importance of making sure you are comfortable throughout your entire dental treatment. You no longer have to sacrifice your oral health or your mental health.