Best Treatment Nervous Patient – Dentistry Scotland 2019 WINNER

We know that coming to the dentists can be difficult if you are anxious or have a phobia. Surveys show that almost half the population of the UK are anxious about seeing the dentist so you are not alone. At Hannigan Dental Care we offer a diverse range of options to all our patients who are anxious about dental visits. No two patients are the same and this is reflected in the bespoke plans we design around you.

 Bespoke Plans

You can choose from the following example:

  • The Wand
  • IV Sedation
  • Alpha-Stim
  • Acupuncture
  • Consultations outside clinical environment.

IV Sedation

IV sedation is a technique used to reduce anxiety during a dental visit. A small cannula ( plastic tube) is placed into the vein in your arm or back of the hand and a sedative drug is administered. The sedative works quickly and you will feel relaxed within minutes. The dentist controls the level of sedation, aiming to make you feel relaxed within minutes whilst still being able to co-operate for treatment.

 

How do we do it?

The Team

Never under-estimate the importance of friendly and welcoming staff, greeting patients warmly upon arrival. At HDC we make sure all our patients are met with a smile ensuring their very first impression is a positive one. Helping put patients at ease with a personable and approachable staff whom will guide them through every step of the patient journey is a simple, yet effective, patient management technique often under-utilised. We strive to make our patients feel safe and supported by every team member they encounter, from reception to the dental chair.

The Environment

We have recently completed renovation of the Practice, prioritising patient comfort in not just a mental but also physical sense.
We opted for a relaxed décor in our communal areas, styled more like a living room than a formal waiting area. We believe de-clinicalising areas helps to create ‘a safe space’ where patients can feel more like they’re at a friend’s house than the dentist, hopefully helping them achieve a sense of relaxation.
We deliberately chose a palette of greys for the practice colour scheme in addition to blues for our logo and branding, as both these colours are known to have calming, neutralising properties.

Spoken Language

We appreciate many of the words we use every day have negative connotations for our patients so by careful consideration of our language we can avoid exacerbating our patients’ anxieties. The word ‘surgery’ may conjure thoughts of operations and blood for the anxious patient so instead we refer to our dental surgeries as ‘suites’, a term more likely to promote positive mental associations e.g. a spa or a luxurious hotel room – places where you are likely to feel relaxed. Our dental suites are all named after Scottish Islands, again de-clinicalising them and possibly even evoking happy memories of travels in Scotland! 

More info

Body Language

At HDC we also give careful consideration to how we talk to the patient.
If you’re standing and the patient is sitting in the dental chair then you are literally ‘talking down to them’, or worse still talking to them from behind their head so they cannot even make eye contact with you, this kind of body language is not favourable for building trust. Instead, we believe sitting face on with the patient so you are literally, and metaphorically, speaking with them on the same level helps promote trust. Remembering to remove PPE or loupes when chatting with nervous patients can also help humanise us as clinicians.
Offering a new patient a hand shake the first time you meet them; making the effort to always greet your patient with a smile; a nurse offering a nervous patient a hand to hold during an injection – simple measures can often go a long way in helping to build rapport with patients and making a small physical connection with them can often strengthen an emotional one.

Nervous Patients FAQ's

Will it hurt?

Patients are often frightened that on their visit to the dentist they will have to sit through uncomfortable or downright painful treatment, especially if they have suffered from bad experiences at the dentist in the past. We promise this will not happen when you visit us. We use excellent anaesthetics and gentle techniques and we believe we have failed if you are not completely comfortable at all times. The most frequent comment people make at the end of their treatment appointment is “if I had known it was that painless I wouldn’t have worried about coming”.

I hate not being in control!

At nothing but the tooth, you are in control. We will never start treatment, even a check up, without your being ready. We will agree a signal you can give us, such as a raised hand, if you need us to stop what we are doing at any time. If you decide part way through an appointment that you have had enough for today, we will stop treatment. You can have absolute faith that you are in complete control of what is happening at all times.

I am frightened of the dentist’s drill

Again, this is a common worry.

If your anxiety is based on a worry that the drilling will hurt, we would refer you back to our pain free promise. You will not have to sit through any painful treatment here. Ever.

If you don’t like the noise, you are welcome to bring your iPod or MP3 player, or a CD to play.

I am embarrassed about how bad my teeth are

The team at nothing but the tooth are all experienced dental professionals, and I can promise you that we see patients with high treatment requirements all the time. It takes a lot of courage to come for treatment if you are nervous, especially when you know you need a lot of work. We applaud that, and we thank you for choosing us to help you on your way towards a healthy mouth and that amazing smile you are going to be sporting soon.

Should I tell my dentist that I'm nervous?

Absolutely! Let your dentist know what your anxieties and fears  so they can be addressed and talk you through everything. This will allow your dentist to tailor your treatment to make sure you feel comfortable at all times.

One of the technique (IV sedation)used to reduce anxiety during a dental visit. A small cannula ( plastic tube) is placed into the vein in your arm or back of the hand and a sedative drug is administered. The sedative works quickly and you will feel relaxed within minutes. The dentist controls the level of sedation, aiming to make you feel relaxed within minutes whilst still being able to co-operate for treatment.

Can I Meet My Dentist Before Treatment?

Of course! we always want to get to know our patients so we can build a strong relationship with them.

During your first appointment, you will meet your dentist and talk through any worries or concerns you might have before undergoing any treatment.