What to do if you have dental anxiety

Dental anxiety is a common issue that many people face when it comes to visiting the dentist. It can range from mild nervousness to severe fear and phobia, and it can make it difficult for individuals to maintain good oral health. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with dental anxiety, it is important to understand that there are ways to overcome it and receive the dental care that is needed. Read on to find out more.


Understand the source of the dental anxiety

The first step is to try and understand the source of the anxiety. This could be because of past negative experiences at the dentist, fear of pain or needles, or just a general fear of the unknown. It’s easier to address and work through anxiety once the source is identified.


Find a dental team you feel comfortable with

One way to overcome dental anxiety is to find a dentist and dental team that you feel comfortable with. This includes finding a dentist with a gentle and patient approach, or a dental practice that specialises in dental anxiety and offers sedation options. This could take some trial and error, but it will be worth it in the long run.


Prepare in advance

Another effective way to overcome dental anxiety is to educate yourself about the procedures and treatments that will be done so that you know what to expect. This can help alleviate your fears and uncertainty, especially if your anxiety is caused primarily because of a fear of the unknown. A lot of dental practices have educational materials you can utilise which can be helpful for patients to understand procedures.

You can also get in touch with the dental practice first to chat through your dental health before you jump straight into the dental chair. This introduction can often put people at ease, by getting to know their dentist beforehand. 


Use relaxation techniques

Deep breathing exercises can also be helpful before and during dental appointments. You even have the option to wear your headphones during your treatment if you find the background noises cause you anxiety. 


Remember how important your dental health is

Good oral health is crucial to your overall health and well-being, so overcoming dental anxiety is not only helpful but important. Regular dental appointments can help to recognise and treat problems at the earliest possible stage, before they are able to develop further and possibly require invasive, uncomfortable treatment. 

It’s better to go to the dentist on your own terms in your own time, rather than waiting for a tooth pain or gum problem to force you to go – as this can often worsen the anxiety.

Dental anxiety is a common issue, but can be overcome. You are not alone, so make sure to talk to your dental team (like us). We can give you advice to help put you at ease.

Call us on 0161 941 2143. Get in touch today!

Website last updated: April 2024

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