Overcoming your fear of the dentist

Fear of the dentist - Select Dentist, Exmouth Devon

24 May Overcoming your fear of the dentist

Many people have a fear of the dentist. For some, the thought of visiting the dentist brings on mild anxiety and apprehension, while for others the notion is terrifying.

We treat many nervous patients at Select Dental so we understand what a traumatic experience it can be for some people.

Tips for overcoming your fear of the dentist

  1. Choose the right dentist: Find a dental practice that openly claims to treat anxious patients or ask family and friends for a recommendation.
  2. Familiarise yourself with the surgery: Visit the dental surgery to make your appointment so you can meet the receptionist and assess the environment.
  3. Be honest: Tell the receptionist that you are nervous so they can allow extra time for your appointment.
  4. Go early: Book a morning appointment, so you have less time to dwell on your impending visit.
  5. Take moral support: Take a close friend or relative with you to your appointment for comfort and reassurance. They should be allowed to come into the surgery with you.
  6. Explain your fears: Discuss with your dentist what makes you anxious so they can alleviate your concerns as much as possible.
  7. Distract yourself: Muffle the sounds and give yourself something else to focus on by listening to your music on headphones.
  8. Set the rules: Agree on a sign with your dentist to signal that you need a break and want them to stop. This will help you feel more in control.
  9. Try relaxation techniques: Controlled breathing – taking a big breath, holding it, and letting it out very slowly, or progressive muscle relaxation – tensing and relaxing different muscle groups, in turn, can help to relax you and ease anxiety.

If you’re anxious, remember that your first appointment will only be a check-up and won’t involve any treatment unless it’s an emergency. After this visit, your dentist will be able to come up with a treatment plan for you that deals with any dental issues while minimising your fear.

If you’re seeking a dentist dedicated to helping nervous patients, please give us a call on 01395 225600. We’d love to be able to show you that visiting the dentist does not need to be a terrifying experience.