If you struggle with dental phobia, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that as many as half of adults in the UK are scared of the dentist. The good news is that there is something that can be done about dental phobia.
Why is it so important to overcome being scared of the dentist?
Here are a few reasons why getting over a fear of the dentist should be on your list of priorities:
Better dental health
Being scared of the dentist can inadvertently affect the health of your teeth. In many cases, people struggling with dental phobia will keep visits to the dentist to a minimum; some people stop coming in altogether. Unfortunately, this can have severe repercussions for your oral health. Each missed appointment moves you closer to problems ranging from decay, gum disease, dental infections and even tooth loss. Once we work with you and help you develop the confidence to overcome your nerves, you will see the health of your teeth improve drastically.
We all know the impact stress can have on our health by now. It always saddens us to hear from patients that they’ve had sleepless nights in the days leading up to their appointment; no one should have to live that way! Once we’ve worked with you to reduce your fear of the dentist, you’ll find your stress levels are no longer what they were in the days leading up to previous appointments.
Improve your general health
Neglecting to visit the dentist because you’re scared can put you at risk of severe health problems. Advanced gum disease is a particular culprit; when plaque enters the bloodstream, it can cause heart disease and diabetes, as well as Alzheimer’s. So, once you conquer your fear of the dentist, you can feel confident that you’re doing great things for your general health, as well as your oral health.
Here are our 5 tips for tackling dental phobia.
Try to consider what the origin of your fear is
Knowing the cause of your dental phobia can be an instrumental first step to help move your confidence forward. In our experience as dentists, most people who develop dental phobia do so due to a negative past experience in the dentist’s chair. Fortunately, dentistry has come a long way since before the year 2000; practices are less clinical and have been designed to be more inviting spaces. Dentists also have a better understanding of how to help anxious patients.
Here at The Bristol Dental Practice, our sedation dentists have undertaken training that allows them to help patients develop new behaviours and mentalities towards the idea of visiting the dentist. In many cases, this is sufficient in helping to alleviate fears, but some patients may need extra help.
Choose a dental practice that offers sedation
This is where sedation dentistry comes in.
Sedation dentistry isn’t available at all dental practices. Therefore we’re proud to have a fantastic reputation for performing sedation treatment here at The Bristol Dental Practice. Our dentists have plenty of experience administering intravenous sedation, so you’ll be in excellent hands.
Principal dentist Dr Jonathan Cochrane has undertaken a year-long training programme at the prestigious Eastman Dental Hospital (part of UCL).
Choose a dental practice with outstanding dental care in a judgement-free environment
If you’re anxious about appointments and it’s been a while since your last visit, it’s normal to feel embarrassed about letting a dentist see your teeth. However, please remember that The Bristol Dental Practice is a judgement-free space, where it’s our job to look after you and help you feel better about coming in for an appointment. While your teeth might not be in the condition you’d like them to be in, we’re confident we can help you improve both the health and the appearance of your teeth.
Do some research prior to your appointment
When researching reputable dental practices in Bristol, it’s always a good idea to pay attention to those that showcase photos of their practice on their website.
We’ve included a 3D tour of our practice here in Bristol to help you get to know it before you even step foot inside. Nervous patients often tell us that viewing this before coming in was a beneficial first step for them.
Take a look here.
Ask a loved one or friend to accompany you
If you prefer someone to accompany you to your appointment, that’s absolutely fine with us. You might find that you no longer need this in future appointments once you’ve brought someone along to accompany you the first time. In many cases, dental phobia originates from feeling anxious about the unknown. So, once you feel more acquainted with what to expect, you should hopefully feel more empowered to attend appointments on your own.
Contact us to book your appointment with a sedation dentist today
Book your appointment with us by simply contacting our helpful and friendly reception team. If you’re an existing patient, you can reach them on 0117 910 5929. If you are a new patient, please call 0117 405 7229.
If you cannot make it to see us during the week, don’t worry. We’re open seven days a week. You can also contact us by filling out our online booking form right here if you prefer not to speak on the phone.
We look forward to seeing you.