Many dentists who have been successful in helping their patients overcome dental fear and anxiety describe their approach as follows :
• Initial consultation – a “get to know you” visit where full dental history is taken and procedures and dental techniques are explained. The policy for working with patients suffering dental anxiety should be explained at this stage.
• The second visit – normally a further discussion about the specific dentistry fears that a client holds. If appropriate, simple “pain free” dental procedures e.g. tooth cleaning, may be performed at this visit.
• Future visits – further dental procedures will be carried out after careful consultation with the patient. Good dentists will explain exactly what they intend to do and indeed what they are actually doing during the dentistry procedure. It is critical that every attempt is made to put the patient at ease at all stages – minimising any pressure!
• It is almost certain that dental fear and anxiety can be overcome if a good dentist and patient relationship can be established. Open communication and trust is essential and application of modern “minimally invasive” dental techniques can also assist.
• Always discuss your fears and anxieties with your dentist and never suffer in silence!