While phobias around dental care may not affect you when you don’t need to visit the dentist, the moment you develop a toothache or another issue, the anxiety will rise. Too often, we hear of patients who are scared to receive treatment facing worsening problems.
Dental anxiety is a common problem, and it’s nothing to be ashamed about. We know it’s hard if you’re anxious about receiving treatment. That’s why we go at your pace, delivering gentle care in a friendly, supportive manner.
Knowing we’re caring dentists might not be enough, though, and it’s natural for your anxiety to remain. To overcome your fears, you’ll need some strategies.
In this article, we’ll look at eight effective ways to overcome your fear of the dentist and get your much-needed treatment.
Knowing what makes you nervous is an important first step on the road to anxiety-free dental appointments. If you can name your fears, it’s a great starting point for you and us. If we know what we need to be mindful of, we may be able to make adjustments.
Some patients fear the equipment we use, others dislike the sounds or the smells in the clinic, while many avoid dental treatments because they feel uncomfortable letting someone touch their mouth.
Your anxiety may stem from a specific bad experience or a general unease since childhood. It’s common for people with dental fears to model the behaviours and fears of their parents or siblings while growing up. Once learned, this anxiety can follow you for many years.
When we feel anxious about anything, it’s easy to put it off. It’s never been easier to book a dental appointment, and you don’t even have to phone up. Our online chat and booking system takes the pressure off that uncomfortable phone call.
If you would prefer to call, let our friendly team know you’re nervous, and they can advise about the quietest time to visit.
If you’re worried about any aspect of your dental care, we want to know. Knowing about your anxieties helps us plan any treatments around you. We can provide extra time so you can take breaks and suggest solutions to the things that scare you most.
When we’re anxious about anything, the brain will naturally focus its attention on the thing we’re most worried about. But you’re in good hands. Our friendly, qualified, and experienced staff will ensure you’re safe throughout your treatment.
Bring something to distract you. Maybe find music, audiobooks, or a podcast and listen through headphones? Having something to focus on can reduce your dental anxiety.
You don’t need to come to your appointment alone. If you have a partner, family member, or friend you can come with you, please bring them. Having that supportive person who you’re comfortable with right there with you can stop your anxiety levels from rising.
Sometimes all they need to do is hold your hands, and the growing sense of panic drops.
There are lots of techniques you can use to reduce your anxiety at stressful moments. Deep breathing exercises slow your heart rate and stop the stress hormones that keep you on edge. Breathe in slowly over four or five seconds, hold your breath for the same length of time and exhale gradually. Repeat this for the next few minutes, and you should feel calmer.
Grounding techniques stop you from overthinking when you feel anxious. By identifying a few things you can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch, you’ll bring your mind back to the present moment and away from panicky thoughts.
At Platinum Dental Care, we use a device called “The Wand” to deliver pain-free anaesthesia. This is a great way of receiving pain relief before or during your treatment without needles.
If you have trauma surrounding previous dental care, it can help to talk to a counsellor. Many counsellors specialise in particular issues, so it might be helpful to talk to someone with experience helping others with dental phobias.
At Platinum Dental Care, we provide a supportive and relaxed environment so you can get the care you need. Talk to us about your fears and anxiety, and you may be surprised at what we can do to help.
Get in touch today to book your next appointment.