7 Tips for Ner­vous Den­tal Patients

A fear of the den­tist is all too com­mon. There are many rea­sons patients become afraid of vis­it­ing the den­tist, includ­ing poor expe­ri­ences in the past, fear of judge­ment, or fear of painful treatments.

Fear of the dentist can range from slightly sweaty palms when you are sitting in the dentist’s chair to a complete avoidance of the dentist entirely.

The issue with avoiding the dentist is that you could end up needing more extensive work by ignoring small issues as they arise. So whether you’re just a little bit anxious about the dentist or you have a complete phobia, it’s vital that you tackle this issue head on. Thankfully, there are lots of things you can do to address your fear of the dentist.

1. Understand where your fear comes from

The first step in conquering your fear of the dentist is to understand where it comes from. Perhaps you had a traumatic experience as a child and this is all you can remember of the dentist. Or maybe you’ve dealt with a rude dentist and you felt embarrassed by their approach. Understanding why you are afraid can help you to overcome this issue as you’ll know what you need to be able to feel at ease.

2. Speak to your dentist

Dentists know that patients are commonly afraid of them, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Remember that your dentist is a person just like you. If you want to talk about your fears, they will be happy to put you at ease. Once you get these fears out in the open, your dentist can try different techniques to help you to get past your fears.

3. Learn more about procedures

A lack of understanding might lead you to make assumptions about what is happening. Feel free to research the procedures in advance so that you know what to expect. Knowing what lies ahead can help you to feel more in control. If, after learning more about the procedure, you think that it’s too much for you to handle, ask your dentist about the possibility of oral conscious sedation to help you to relax.

4. Remember there is no judgement

A common reason that individuals fear the dentist is simply that they haven’t been for so long and they are worried that their dentist will judge them for not taking care of their teeth. First, you need to forgive yourself for skipping dental appointments for so long, as it is usually a judgement on yourself that you are really feeling.

Next, be open with your dentist about how long it has been. They will simply be happy that you have decided to break this pattern and visit for a checkup – your dentist’s office really is a judgement-free zone.

5. Book a hygienist checkup

If the thought of visiting the dentist feels too daunting, perhaps a visit to the dental hygienist will be easier to manage? Our dental hygiene team are incredibly friendly and are known for putting their patients at ease. This can be the perfect way to ease yourself back into the routine of going to the dentist.

6. Speak to a professional

Your dental phobia might be worth exploring with a mental health professional, particularly if you are worried about it having an impact on your oral health. If you have children, it’s also important that you get your phobia of the dentist under control so that you don’t pass this phobia on to your children.

7. Ask for a modified appointment

There are lots of things we can do to make your checkup less daunting. For your first trip back to the dentist, we can complete the examination in a regular chair so that you don’t have to be surrounded by medical equipment. We can also complete your checkup while you wear headphones so you can listen to relaxing music to distract yourself. Our dental team is highly adaptable and will do everything we can to help put you at ease.

Ready to take control of your dental phobia? Get in touch today to book a checkup with our team. You can let our reception team know that you are nervous about your visit and they will guide you through the process.

Con­tact our practice

The Implant and Cosmetic Smiles Clinic

27 Bed­ford Square,
Houghton Reg­is, 

Mon09:00 - 17:00
Tues09:00 - 17:00
Wed09:00 - 17:00
Thurs09:00 - 17:00
Fri09:00 - 16:00
The Implant And Cosmetic Smiles Clinic Reception area