While most people will concede that regular dental check-ups are necessary to maintaining good oral health, nearly one in three Brits only make an appointment when they know there is a problem. People have busy lives and many priorities to juggle, so it is understandable that a routine dental visit is repeatedly demoted to the bottom of the ‘to do’ list. However, for some people it may not be time pressures that keep them away, rather an aversion to being in the dentist’s chair. Indeed, in a poll about what makes people nervous, visiting the dentist came out on top with 14% of the vote – and not only does this get in the way of preventative care, but it may even keep them away when they need treatment.
Why are so many people nervous about a trip to the dentist?
Ask someone about their fear and they will often talk about childhood experiences, about cold, austere surgeries and archaic-looking instruments that make blood-curdling sounds. While the passing of time may have added embellishments to the memory, there is a truth at the heart of it: surgeries were more formal places and instruments were louder. However, as evidenced at our central London specialist dental surgery, innovations in technology and a focus on patient experience have transformed the entire event.
What can dental practices do to help?
A warm, welcoming and courteous environment, designed to put patients at ease, is a great place to start. At 76 Harley Street in central London all of our specialists have had training in treating nervous patients. They will discuss their fears and concerns and explain how a patient’s individual treatment will take these into account, offering, for example, different anaesthetic options or distractions in the form of films or music. At our specialist dental practice we place our patients firmly at the centre of our business, and make the elimination of pain and discomfort one of our top priorities.