Here at Broomhill Dental, we absolutely pride ourselves on our ability to work with nervous and uneasy patients. That said, nearly every patient we see has experienced some form of fear or anxiety at some stage when faced with sitting in ‘The Chair’. We’ve even spoken to some patients who have avoided coming to see us altogether for long periods of time – even when experiencing extreme dental pain and irritation – simply because they are too afraid of the Dentist.
It’s so important to make sure that regular visits to the dentist are not avoided, as your oral health really must be a priority. You may not know this, but oral health issues have been linked to a wide variety of wider health issues and regular trips to the dentist can help to uncover and treat serious health conditions.
So if you’re feeling nervous or have been putting off making an appointment to come and see us, we’ve put together some quick tips to help you take those important first steps…
1. Don’t be embarrassed about being nervous…You ARE NOT alone!
As we mentioned above, we deal with nervous patients all the time. In fact, it’s probably more common for us to deal with nervous patients than those who aren’t. Whilst we understand that you may not like the thought of someone rummaging around in your mouth (we’ll be careful – we promise!), or you may be embarrassed by the issues you’re experiencing with your teeth, just remember that looking after your oral care is our job. We’ve quite literally seen it all before, and our team are highly experienced in putting nervous patients at ease, explaining your treatment and what you should expect at each stage of the process.
2. Don’t hide your fear of the dentist
If you’re suffering from anxiety or dental phobia, don’t feel the need to put on a brave face when you come to see us. We’d love you to make us aware of any concerns you have either at the point of booking or at the beginning of your appointment, and we can spend time chatting through your concerns with you. If pain is a major concern, tell us. There might be a way we can help to minimise it such as using numbing agents and local anaesthetics. You might have had a negative experience in the past. If so, let us know about it. The more we know about your history and past experiences, the better placed we are to make your visit more comfortable, and if we know you are potentially going to be nervous/upset/anxious, we can be well prepared to give you the time to ask questions or take breaks if needed.
3. Think of ways we can help – and tell us!
If you know of ways to make yourself feel more relaxed and at ease, tell us! Some patients like to listen to relaxing music, others like to listen to the radio or podcasts so that they can concentrate on the conversations that are happening, rather than the noises in the surgery. Maybe a familiar scent or having a friend or family member in the room will help. Whatever it is, we’ll try our very best to accommodate you.
4. Choose an appointment time that works for you
We often advise nervous patients to book their appointments early in the morning. This means that you won’t spend the day thinking (or worrying!) about your appointment and what might happen when you get here. Often we see nervous patients late in the afternoon who tell us that they have not been able to focus on anything else all day, and we have noticed that nervous patients are more likely to cancel their appointment – or not turn up – the later in the day that their appointment is scheduled, probably due to the fear and anxiety building up over the course of the day. An early appointment means you can get on with your day and you’ll feel even better for conquering your fear!
5. Choose a dentist that helps to put you at ease
We’re a local dentist but we welcome patients from all over. You don’t simply have to choose the dentist that is nearest to your house. In fact, you definitely shouldn’t base your decision purely on this as there are lots of factors you should consider first. Look at reviews, ask friends for recommendations and even drop us a quick email or Facebook message with any questions you might have. If you’ve been experiencing anxiety and nervousness with your own dentist – it might be time to find a new one. Do some research and make sure you’re asking prospective dental practices how they plan to help put you at ease and alleviate any fears you may have.
Get in touch with us now if you’d like to discuss how we can help you manage dental stress and anxiety.