Being scared of the dentist can feel like a very isolating experience. However, it’s actually a very common problem, with approximately one in ten adults in the UK being so scared of the dentist that they refuse to go for general check-ups, often only driven in through the doors of a dental practice when an emergency occurs.
This can become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy, as dental emergencies such as broken or infected teeth, dental abscesses and even tooth loss can be painful and frightening, meaning that the patient is likely to be suffering high levels of stress already, which can make dental anxiety a whole lot worse.
Fortunately, in the 21st Century dental fear or phobia is no longer the barrier to health it used to be. The first step is to find a sympathetic and trustworthy dentist. The team at Unidental in Stockport has helped many nervous patients just like you to overcome their fear and get much-needed treatment. It may seem impossible right now, but everything begins with an honest conversation.
Tell your dentist that you are nervous about treatment. Dental phobia has a wide range of causes, from a bad childhood experience to fear of judgement or anxiety about what treatment is needed. If needles or the sight of dental instruments is a trigger, a pre-warned dentist can hide these from view.
It can be helpful to start slowly. First, have a chat about your fears with the dentist or practice manager – you may be surprised at how much dentistry has changed in recent years if you haven’t visited a practice in decades.
At your first appointment all that will happen is an examination. Your dentist will clearly explain what treatment is needed and why, and will answer your questions. Then they will work with you to find the best way to help you relax.
Listening to music to drown out practice noise helps many people, as does bringing a friend to appointments. Some people benefit from dental hypnotherapy.
For those who need a little more help to relax, conscious sedation is often ideal. You will remain awake but very relaxed and largely unaware of treatment. Most importantly, you will feel no pain.