How can you cope with dental anxiety?13 August 2018 Categories: Dental Anxiety Patient care
By Dr. Geoff Baggaley
BChD DGDP(U.K.) RCS Dip.Con.Sed(Newc)
If you’re very nervous of the dentist or dental treatment, you are not alone. It’s believed that over 60% of the adult population suffers from some level of anxiety about visiting the dentist. There are many people who feel a “little uneasy” about dental treatment, but they can usually cope. However, if you have an intense or persistent fear of the dentist, you may have dental anxiety or dental phobia and will need a sympathetic practice with additional support to get the treatment you need.
If you suffer from dental anxiety, it’s possible that you only go to the dentist when you have a dental emergency or are in extreme pain! The strength of your anxiety means that you don’t want to visit the dentist for those regular and essential check ups that help to prevent problems developing. Further to this, dentally anxious patients often carry a feeling of guilt. You may think that you are the most anxious patient who has ever walked the planet or that you have the worst teeth of anyone. This could not be further from the truth!
Treating “dentally anxious” patients
At The Raglan Suite we successfully treat people with higher than average levels of dental anxiety every day. The thing is – teeth and gums, like the rest of our bodies, need to be looked after and any issues treated promptly.
The main problem for dentally anxious patients isn’t just the possibility (or reality) of unsightly, stained or missing teeth, but the wider implications and substantial risk of undetected dental disease and oral cancer.
Getting help if you suffer from dental anxiety
If you haven’t visited a dentist in a number of years, it’s important to get support. The first step is to talk to your own dentist about it – if a dentist is sympathetic, they will understand and make a special effort to help you feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible. If the dentist has genuine empathy, they will be capable of building a strong relationship with their patient which is built on trust. Overcoming dental anxiety is primarily about finding the right dentist – one who you feel listens to you and genuinely understands your fears. A dentist who you are comfortable with and trust 100%.
However, more often than not, anxious patients have been let down by an unpleasant or painful experience, or by a dentist who may appear more interested in working quickly and with little understanding of the patient’s anxiety.
Dental Anxiety Management Professionals at The Raglan Suite
At The Raglan Suite, we use a range of different methods of care to create a safe atmosphere. Our priority is to make sure you feel confident enough to accept advice and then when you feel comfortable, any required treatment. The aim is to encourage positive dental experiences.
We start with behavioural management techniques, which alone can be successful. Often anxious patients simply need to be allowed the time to “tell their story” of why they are anxious and to be listened to with genuine empathy. This may be enough for us to perform simple dental checks and when these are received comfortably, so begins a relationship of trust. However, it also needs to be accepted that some patients who have been avoiding the dentist for some time may need more than simple dentistry to regain good oral health.
If, following behavioural management techniques, you still feel a high level of anxiety or need more complex treatment, we can also provide different forms of sedation to help you relax. If a patient is sedated, they are still awake and able to respond throughout the procedure, but they won’t be aware of what is happening and may not even be able to remember it.
There are different ways to be sedated:
- ‘Gas and air’ (inhalation sedation) – this is simply a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen which is breathed in through a nasal mask and provides a level of sedation and analgesia (pain relief).
- Intravenous Sedation – this is the use of sedation drugs which are delivered through a small plastic tube placed carefully in a vein, usually in the arm. This drug has a very useful side effect, in that the patient usually remembers very little of the dental visit. This form of sedation can only be performed by a dentist or doctor that is specially trained.
Our approach for treating dental anxiety
At The Raglan Suite, I work exclusively with people who suffer from dental anxiety. In my experience, even people who have extreme fear about the simplest dental procedures can learn to receive treatment in a manner that feels safe and calm. Our approach here at The Raglan Suite is to encourage small, yet conquerable steps. The first step is simply having a chat with me, in a comfortable, non-clinical room, to discuss your feelings and concerns. That is it – there is no obligation to continue from there, but it’s often the case that once that initial step has been taken and trust is initiated, patients want to move forward with improving their dental health and getting their smile back.
In conclusion, it is important to remember that if you suffer from dental anxiety or dental phobia, you are not alone. There are many, many people who share your anxieties and equally there are many ways that we can help you towards achieving a happy, healthy smile. It can all start with a simple chat with me.”
Dr. Geoff Baggaley
Dr. Geoff Baggaley is a professional in the management of dental anxiety and teaches dentists across the UK on how to deliver his techniques to their own anxious patients. If you would like to meet with Geoff to discuss your concerns in a non-clinical environment, simply fill in the online form and one of our Treatment Co-ordinators will contact you.
Implant Dentistry in a digital world25 May 2018 Categories: Uncategorized
By Dr. Haytham Abbas
BDS (Ncle 2005), MFDS (RCS Emg 2008), Dip.Imp.Dent
Digital advancements in the last 18 years have drastically changed how we communicate, travel and even eat. The technology used in the provision of Implant Dentistry has not been left behind, allowing us as oral surgeons to offer even more predictable results for patients.
Implant dentistry has gone digital. This means that we collect data – such as clinical photographs of your teeth, x-rays and impressions – digitally. Furthermore, with the aid of computer programming and laboratory technicians, we can now put this data together to show you what the clinical outcome is likely to be before a tooth is even removed.
Traditional method – single missing tooth
If you have a missing single tooth, a dental implant can be placed into the jaw bone to fill the gap. Traditionally, a standard x-ray has been used to guide us in placing the implant. After 3 months of healing, when the implant is ready to have the crown (or visible tooth) made, an impression of the opposing set of teeth and a record of how your teeth come together is required. This involves using messy moulds and sticky impression material, which many patients find hard to tolerate.
These impressions are then sent to the laboratory where the technician uses them to make models that replicate your teeth and the top of the implant. The technician then makes your new tooth.
This has worked perfectly well for decades, so why change it? If it’s not broken don’t fix it. However, today we want faster and more predictable solutions. As a dental surgeon, if I can provide a more predictable outcome for my patients then I will want to be able to offer and deliver this to them.
Modern digital method – single missing tooth
With the modern method, before we consider placing an implant we carry out a CT scan to provide a 3D X-ray of the area. The Raglan Suite is one of only a few practices in the area to have a Cone Beam CT Scanner, allowing us to identify important anatomical structures such as the sinuses, the floor of the nose, blood vessels and nerves. This means that we can accurately plan where to place implants to ensure that they are safely away from these vital structures.
At the same time, instead of sticky moulds, we take a ‘digital’ impression of the patients’ upper and lower teeth. A digital impression uses a small, hand-held, intra-oral scanner that quickly captures hundreds of small pictures and then knits them together to create a complete 3D image of your teeth. This digital impression and the CT scan are then sent to the laboratory.
Together, the dental surgeon and technician use these to plan the precise positioning of the implant in relation to where the future tooth will be. A guide is then printed using a 3D printer. This guide fits over the patients’ current teeth and allows us to place the implant in the exact planned position. Once the implant has fused to the jaw bone after 3 months, we take a digital impression to make the new tooth. Once again, the teeth are scanned using our intra-oral scanner and the scan is sent to the lab technician who makes the tooth ready to fit onto the implant.
Here at The Raglan Suite we pride ourselves on being able to offer the best possible options to our patients using the best equipment available and 3D planning is one of them. As with any treatment choice, planning is the most important part and this is no exception. The majority of patients will be able to have their treatment carried out under a digital workflow. In some cases, we do need to use a combination of both or revert to the traditional format. Your clinician will inform you which is the best solution for you.
Dr. Haytham Abbas qualified in 2005 and has a Diploma Degree in Dental Implantology from Warwick University. Since then he has helped hundreds of patients regain their smiles and function with the aid of dental implants. For a free consultation, contact us here or call 01423 565432.
The Value of Good Service22 March 2018 Categories: Patient care
By Dr. Tim Doswell
Dental Surgeon and Practice Director
“I am obsessed by good service. I drive my wife and family mad when we eat out because if we haven’t had good service in a pub or restaurant, I won’t stay to have pudding! We leave after the main course. I admit that this is shooting myself in the foot as I love pudding, but there is a principle involved here…
The Changing Face of Dentistry22 February 2018 Categories: Dentistry
By Dr. Antony Bellaries
This time of year often provides a period of reflection and an optimistic look to the future. This year it is the 70th anniversary of the inception of the National Health Service, formed as part of Clement Attlee’s (then Labour Prime Minister) “cradle to grave” welfare state reform policy in the aftermath of the Second World War. The NHS was the first universal health care system established anywhere in the world. Amongst other services, it provided greater access to dental care, in an otherwise dentally neglected population.
In the mid half of the twentieth century, dental disease was rife. The vast majority of dental treatment provided was tooth extractions and the provision of dentures. So what’s changed? A huge amount! Below I’ve listed my top four significant changes to happen to dentistry over the last seventy years:
I’m missing a front tooth! What next?23 January 2018 Categories: Dental implant Uncategorized
In the aesthetically driven world that we live in, missing a front tooth would be devastating. Rightly or wrongly, we are often judged by the way we look. This is why missing a front tooth is embarrassing and socially awkward. Ask yourself the question – if you lost your front tooth, would you leave the house?
The traditional approach to replace a single missing tooth
So what happens if you lose a front tooth in an accident or a sports injury, or are told that it needs to be extracted?
“Will my child need braces?”19 December 2017 Categories: Children's dentistry Orthodontics
By Specialist Orthodontist Dr. Megan Hatfield
We all watch our little ones carefully as they grow and that includes their dental development. Whether or not their child will need braces is one of the most common questions that parents put to dentists, partcularly if they have worn braces themselves as a child or currently need them. However, although parents may be looking for a simple yes or no answer, it’s not always so clear-cut!
As a Specialist Orthodontist, I monitor a child’s facial and dental growth, and detect problems with bones and the position of teeth at the ideal age to treat them. In some cases, problems are best treated early when there is a mixture of baby and adult teeth which can help simplify or avoid orthodontics later on. This might include a reverse bite (lower front teeth forward of the upper ones) or teeth not coming through in the right order. In other cases, it is best to wait until most or all of the adult teeth are through (from age 10-13) to help promote a successful treatment outcome.
Is it possible to enjoy your trip to the dentist?13 November 2017 Categories: Uncategorized
By Dental Surgeon Dr. Tim Doswell
Lets face it, not many people look forward to visiting their dentist. A trip to the dentist usually conjures up images of pain, anxiety, needles, drills and someone trying to have a conversation with you while your mouth is wide open! As dentists, we hear patients saying “it’s not you, I just don’t like dentists!” But with today’s technology and sympathetic techniques, is it possible to actually enjoy stress-free dental treatment?
It is my belief that a lot of dental fear originates from trips to the old fashioned “school dentist” who struck fear into a whole generation of patients with primitive techniques and lack of a kind bedside manner. So I would like to attempt to allay fears about dentists and outline some of the techniques we use at The Raglan Suite to make the treatment journey as comfortable as possible – perhaps even enjoyable!
Does having a tooth extraction hurt?10 October 2017 Categories: Dental Anxiety Tooth extraction
By Dr. Geoff Baggaley
One aspect of dental treatment patients are often anxious about is the possibility of a tooth extraction – when a tooth needs to be removed. The most common reasons that your dentist may feel it is in your best interest to have a tooth removed are:
- A tooth that has broken down and can’t be repaired
- Severe tooth decay
- An abscess
- Gum disease
- Crowded teeth – when extra space is needed prior to braces being fitted (orthodontic treatment)
- Impacted wisdom teeth – when growing wisdom teeth can’t break through the surface of the gum
FILLING A GAP WITH A SINGLE TOOTH DENTAL IMPLANT18 September 2017 Categories: Dental implant
By Dental Surgeon, Dr. Tim Doswell
The most common case we do at The Raglan Suite is fill a gap with a single tooth dental implant. There are a number of reasons why a tooth may need to be removed, such as extensive decay or infection, trauma, a root fracture, a failed post crown or failed root filling. As dentists, we always try to save natural teeth. However, if it is clear that the tooth can not be saved, a single tooth dental implant offers a long term, stable and predictable solution.
New Suction Denture15 August 2017 Categories: Dentures
NOT ALL DENTURES ARE THE SAME!
By Chris Egan (RDT Dip Lds, CDT Dip Rcs Eng)
In March 2017, I travelled to Japan to complete a course on the revolutionary new suction denture technique taught by Dr Jiro Abe. As a result, I am now qualified to provide Suction Effective Mandibular Complete Dentures (SEMCD) – the very latest in suction effective dentures.
One of the most difficult things to achieve in dentistry is suction and stability on a full lower denture. This new technique, which eliminates the problem of the lower denture lifting by creating effective suction, is rapidly becoming popular worldwide. After achieving great results on my own patients, I can understand why this new suction denture technique offers such a huge advantage over a conventional full lower denture system.