Covid lockdown – is it adding to your stress levels and affecting oral health?
We are now almost a week into the second national lockdown. This is due to end on December 2nd although some experts believe that it will either extend, or that there will be some significant restrictions still in place, perhaps roughly equivalent to what existed in Tier 3. Although there has been some good potential news surrounding a possible vaccine success, this is unlikely to be available to most of us for a while and the announcement may not yet have done a great deal to lower the stress levels of some of our Canterbury patients.
Dental anxiety is one of the main reasons that some patients avoid seeing a dentist at all and it doesn’t take too much imagination to realise the potentially catastrophic consequences of this. Although many dental phobics take as much care as they can to have healthy teeth, nearly everyone will suffer from minor issues with their teeth and gums at some point in their life. For many of us, this might be a couple of small fillings, but if not treated at an early stage, this can lead to much more significant problems down the track.
At Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic, we offer our patients preventative oral care both in the form of six monthly checkups and appointments with the hygienist. Both of these elements are very important when it comes to keeping your whole mouth healthy.
Check-ups allow us to detect early stage problems and treat them quickly before they become more serious. Hygienists not only advise on how to look after your teeth and gums better but also provide a ‘scale and polish’, a non invasive treatment that removes hardened bacteria and minerals from the tooth surface and the gum line. This plays an important role in the prevention of gum disease and its associated symptoms, including painful gums, bad breath and even, potentially, tooth loss.
Most early stage interventions and professional cleanings cause very little discomfort, if any at all. Those who choose to avoid even this stage of treatment run a very real risk of having poor oral health and are likely to require more significant intervention as problems progress. If you are generally anxious about seeing a dentist, this is not good news!
Reducing your anxiety levels
The current situation may not be helping how we deal with our anxieties, although it could provide time to address the issue. There are many good articles and videos on dental anxiety and you may find one of these useful. Exercise and breathing techniques can also help enough for you to be able to receive treatment. Your doctor may also be willing to prescribe medication in order for you to receive essential treatment as well. Do let us know when you come though, if you have been prescribed anything to help.
Of course, our Canterbury dental team will also do all that it can to help you. Do let the receptionist know, when you make an appointment, if you suffer from dental anxiety. Some of our dentists take a special interest in treating patients in this situation and are very experienced in treating those who are anxious.
Second lockdown information
Whilst we are discussing lockdown, it is important to take the opportunity to let you all know that our practice is open throughout the second lockdown. Because of the additional restrictions that have been put into place at our practice, it is now an even safer environment for patients and dentists alike. It is important that we are all still observant though and if you have any symptoms that suggest you might have Covid-19, please be on the safe side and cancel your appointment as soon as possible and get tested. All patents that have to cancel for this reason can be assured that we will find you a replacement appointment as soon as possible once you have recovered.
As some of you will be aware, many routine check ups were cancelled due to dentists having to close for the first lockdown. This has meant that there has been a backlog which we are still working through. This doesn’t mean that we can’t see you if you need prompt treatment and we are available for emergency dentistry as required. Even if the discomfort is relatively minor, please contact us as any damaged tooth will become worse if not treated promptly. We will, of course, prioritise those most in need with the most urgent problems.
If you require an emergency appointment or if you have any questions about treatment for anxious patients, or any other related problems, please call Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic on 01227 463529.