Afraid of dentists? Talk to Epsom Dental Centre about Gentle Dentistry @edcchigamin #loveyoursmile
16th July 2014
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Afraid of dentists? Talk to Epsom Dental Centre about Gentle Dentistry

Gentle dentistry has become increasingly popular recently as new technologies and practices in dental care have been developed. But what exactly is gentle dentistry and why should you be talking to your dentist about it?

What is Gentle Dentistry?

Gentle dentistry is the idea that a dentist should be concerned with a patient’s overall experience of visiting the dentist, not just the quality of dental care provided. Someone who practices gentle dentistry is good with teeth and good with people too!

Gentle dentistry is an excellent option for people who have a fear of the dentist. Fear of the dentist ranges from mild unease to more severe cases of anxiety and panic. TheBritishDentalAssociation says that around 25% of us suffer from some sort of anxiety before visiting the dentist, and 12% of us suffer from extreme dentophobia.

By taking special care of a patient, and employing advanced techniques and technologies, a dentist can help to alleviate their fears and concerns.

There is no single way to practice gentle dentistry, but there are at least three common themes that tie the concept together.

Emotional Support

Gentle dentistry means being gentle with feelings, not just teeth. One way that dentists can do this is by learning behaviour management techniques which can help a patient feel at home.

Another method, one that works well with those who have a fear of the dentist, is to talk through a procedure before it happens, as it is happening, and after it is finished. Using photographs to illustrate a problem, such as tooth decay, can make it easier for a patient to understand that they need treatment.

This kind of emotional support can have a physical consequence too. The more relaxed a patient is, the less tension they will have in their body, and therefore injections will be easier and less painful.

New Technology

Many of the recent advances in dental technology have been designed to reduce patient pain and discomfort. If a dentist can take the time to explain what their new technology is and how it can reduce pain, then even a patient with a fear of the dentist may feel less intimidated.

One example of a new technology that assists in gentle dentistry is topical anesthesia, otherwise known as numbing gel. Numbing gel is applied to the gum to make it numb, so that the patient cannot feel the needle for an injection. This is an excellent solution for those people whose fear of the dentist stems from a fear of needles.

Numbing gel is available in many dental practices today, but other technologies will only be available in a few years time.

Personalised Experience

The last idea behind gentle dentistry is that visiting the dentist should be a personalised experience. A gentle dentist takes time to get to know a patient and develops a tailor-made atmosphere. For many people, this may be as simple as building a rapport or designing a welcoming waiting room.

Those with a fear of the dentist may need more drastic measures in place. For example, many people find that their fear increases the longer that they spend in the waiting room. For this kind of situation, a dentist can arrange for a patient to come straight into the treatment room. For those who experience greatest fear in the dentist’s chair, some practitioners of gentle dentistry have televisions placed in their patient’s eyeline, or arranged an onsite massage.

If you think that you have a fear of the dentist, or would benefit from the kind of gentle dentistry described above, be sure to talk to your dentist today.

Give Epsom Dental a Call Today


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Nigel & Maggie

Member since: 10th July 2012

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