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How to overcome dental anxiety

The fear of the dentist, or dentophobia, is extremely common. Up to 1 in 4 people are suffering from dental anxiety, with many of those skipping seeing the dentist altogether.

Skipping dental check-ups is not in your best interests. It can mean you miss being diagnosed with dental problems such as decay, gum disease and mouth cancer. All of these problems are often treatable if caught early. However, with time they will become worse and can lead to further complications.

One of the main reasons why people have dental anxiety originates from a past experience in the dentist chair. It is important to remember how far dentistry and technology have advanced in the past couple of decades. If your bad experience was from a while ago, do not let it put you off visiting the dentist now.

Whether it is the sights, sounds, smells or past experiences that are putting you off from having your teeth checked over, the fear is easy to overcome. Many dentists are trained in treating anxious patients. Rest assured that you will be made comfortable and as relaxed as possible.

At Regent Dental Centre, we have many patients join us that are nervous, even petrified of the dentist. We have put together some top tips that we often suggest to help people overcome their fear of the dentist.

Take someone with you

If you are worried about attending a dental check-up, we would suggest bringing someone close to you along. Bringing a close relative or friend along that has no fear of the dentist, can help you to relax. Your dentist should have no problem with them coming with you into the treatment room.

Tell the dentist

When you register or book an appointment, make the receptionist aware that you are anxious and they will make a note on your file. When you turn up to your appointment, it’s also a good idea to remind the dentist that you are nervous and they will make sure you feel relaxed and comfortable.

The first appointment

If you are nervous, it is a great idea to book your dental appointments for the first thing in the morning. This means you aren’t working yourself up about it all day, making yourself even more anxious. Your first appointment will always just be a dental check-up, where the dentist will have a look around your mouth to check for any problems. You will not receive any treatment – just an opportunity to get to know your dentist.

Just relax

Making sure you’re relaxed is crucial in overcoming dental anxiety. Taking your own music in with you to the appointment can help you to relax and take your mind off the treatment. There are a selection of dental practices that offer sedation for patients that are highly anxious so if you feel like this may benefit you, research your local dental practice.

If you are a nervous patient and are looking for a new dental practice, Regent Dental Centre would be very happy to welcome you to our practice. Our dentists are trained to make anxious patients feel relaxed and comfortable during treatment. Call us on 0161 941 2143 to book an appointment with us. 

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Website last updated: July 2021

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