The George Eliot Hospital run Warwickshire Special Care Dental Service provides an anxiety management service for patients who suffer from severe anxiety that prevents them from visiting their dentist.
The sessions teach patients techniques that will help them deal with their anxiety when they visit the dentist. Over several sessions, patients will learn methods to control their anxiety such as breathing techniques and progressive muscular relaxation**.
Upon referral to the Special Care Dental Service, anyone suffering from severe anxiety will be assessed by a Specialist Dental Nurse and given the opportunity to discuss their fears and concerns in a setting away from the surgery. At this meeting, the service is explained and plan of treatment is arranged.
Senior Special Care Dental Nurse, Sharon Bennett, explained: “Fear is a powerful, primeval emotion which causes adrenaline to surge through the body producing symptoms such as a pounding heart and sweaty palms. A large proportion of patients who attend the anxiety management service display these symptoms at their first visit but by adopting relaxation techniques patients can be empowered to take control of these symptoms and control their body’s response to anxiety.
“Relaxation techniques are free from any risk and side effects, unlike medication treatment for anxiety, which obviously makes it more preferable. I would encourage anyone who feels unable to visit their dentist due to anxiety problems to explore this option.”
Patients wishing to access the service will need to be referred by their family dentist or GP. For more information on the service and how to access it, please speak to your GP or dentist or contact the Special Care Dental Service on 01926 888630.