According to Vitality Dental, between 20-25% of people have a fear of going to the dentist, with 1 in 10 patients deliberately avoiding going to the dentist because of their phobia of it. In fact, it’s one of the most common anxieties that people in Britain have, states Bite Dentistry.
But unfortunately, visiting the dentist is a necessity to ensure excellent oral health and hygiene, meaning that those with even the most hardened of phobias will have to see their dentist at some point. With that in mind, here are a few tips for visiting the dentist if you’re a nervous patient:
1. Communicate your fears to your dentist
It’s imperative that your dentist knows and understands that you have a phobia of paying them a visit. This way, they’ll be able to tailor your treatment in a way that’ll put you more at ease. The highly-skilled team of dentists at Quorn Dental Practice and Implant Clinic pride themselves on delivering sterling customer service and outstanding treatments. This includes making sure that their patients are always comfortable and have a pleasant experience every single time.
No question is too mundane or too simple. If it makes you feel more at ease throughout the process, then ask as many questions as you like. If you’re particularly nervous, however, your dentist may discuss other options with you, such as anaesthesia or sedation techniques, but this will depend on your dentist. It would also be useful for you to tell your dentist exactly which part of the treatment you fear the most. For some people, it could be one or more of the following:
- Cleaning techniques
- Lock jaw
2. Make a consultation appointment in advance
Scheduling a consultation appointment would be the perfect opportunity to tell your dentist about your fears. During your consultation appointment, you’ll be able to meet your dentist and establish whether or not it’s the right fit for you. Often, this experience can prove to be stress-relieving because during a consultation, you’ll be able to plan and anticipate several aspects of your treatment going forward, including:
- The treatment you can expect to receive
- How long it will take for the treatment to be completed
- The results you can expect to get
- Why it needs to be done and the benefits you can reap as a result of treatment
3. Your first appointment should be something simple
Make sure that, during your first appointment, it’s something simple. Opt for a general checkup as opposed to something cosmetic, such as dental implants, if you’re somewhat afraid of the dentist. This will get you used to the process that’s followed and some of the instruments that are used.
The environment is also something you’ll be able to get used to as it’ll be clean and sterile for your safety. The more you go, the less nervous you’ll feel. Ensure you’re going to bi-yearly checkups and hygienist appointments to keep on top of your oral health as well as to ease anxiety surrounding dentist visits.
4. Listen to music or practice breathing techniques
Something that you can do during your treatment is listen to music or practise some breathing techniques to help keep your mind off of what the dentist is doing. Deep breathing can be beneficial for those who are nervous in the dentist chair. Ask your dentist if it’s ok for you to put headphones in, because it could interfere with treatment depending on what it is that needs doing.
It might be that your dentist will be able to put the radio on for you instead or have a television programme on in the background. It might also help for you to listen to music in the waiting room as well as in the dental office itself. Anything that you can do which will take your mind off of things will help to reduce your anxiety at the dentist.
5. Bring a friend or family member with you for support
Bringing someone along with you to your appointment can be very soothing for people who have dental anxiety. Not only can they help to take their mind off of their treatment, but it can also provide some positive reinforcement. Knowing that there’s someone there giving you encouragement can be beneficial for those who fear the dentist.
It might also give you something to look forward to. If you bring a friend, partner or family member with you, you could go out for a coffee or some lunch afterwards, depending on whether the treatment you’ve had will allow you to eat and drink. If not, maybe you could go to the cinema or go for a walk. If you plan something afterwards that you can look forward to, then it might make going through your treatment a little easier.
6. Attend the dentist regularly
As already touched upon, attending the dentist on a regular basis can help to ease anxiety surrounding dental visits. You should look to book regular checkups and hygienist appointments if you’re wanting to start going to the dentist more often to help get over your fear. Try to avoid getting cosmetic dentistry done, such as dental veneers, until you feel more at ease with going to the dentist.
Quorn Dental Practice and Implant Clinic have a team of highly-qualified, fully-trained dentists with a wealth of industry knowledge and experience behind them. They use state-of-the-art equipment to provide excellent dental care, with a priority to make patients feel as comfortable as possible no matter the treatment they’re undergoing. For more information about their dental treatments, including dental crowns and bridges, veneers, dental implants and dentures, cosmetic dentistry, emergency appointments, routine checkups and specialist care, get in touch with a member of their expert team today – they’re always happy to hear from you.