“No offence, but I hate dentists.”
This is something I hear very often and it breaks my dental heart slightly but then it is usually followed up by:
“Don’t take it personally but I’m just so nervous”…
Then my achey-breaky dental heart feels a bit better! I never take it personally anymore because I see it as an opportunity to help someone get over their fear! That’s a powerful ability and makes me feel so fulfilled when I achieve it.
Most of the time people are so nervous when they come to see us. Sometimes because of a previous bad experience when they were younger, sometimes because they have no idea what is going to be done or what needs to be done. Other times, it is honestly just something they don’t know why but feel like they have to say!
Some tips to reduce your dental anxiety:
- Don’t wait too long!
- It is tempting to wait until you have a problem with your teeth but this invariably makes the appointment more difficult for you
- Regular dental visits mean that problems (if any) are picked up early and can be treated fairly easily
- Bring a friend/family member you trust with you for your first appointment
- It is reassuring to have someone else with you for your appointment
- Don’t take on too much at the first appointment if it’s not an emergency
- The first appointment is a great time to meet your new dentist, talk to them, maybe get a check up/consult and some x-rays to ease yourself into it
- Speak openly to the dentist about your fears
- Dentists (fortunately/unfortunately?) cannot read your minds so sometimes they won’t have any idea what you are going through. Best thing to do is, either note it on your new patient questionnaire or let them know in person about how nervous you are
- Discuss ways to approach your anxiety
- Do smaller appointments until you feel more comfortable
- Is it something that you can pre-medicate prior to procedure? (with advice from your GP as well)
- Sleep dentistry is a great option if you feel you just cannot go through with it normally
- Pick a time of the day you are comfortable with
- After a long day at work, you may not want to come into the dentist because you are already stressed out!
- The first appointment of the day or on the weekend might be an option
- Find a dentist who you trust
- There are plenty of great dentists out there but someone you connect with will make you feel a lot more at ease
- The best way to find this out is to talk with them and don’t be shy to ask questions!
So don’t worry, our team at Cranbourne North Dental can look after you if you’re feeling nervous and explain all your options to you. We’ve had patients who are terrified to come in, who are now so comfortable and happy to come in!
We’ve also got a lovely trick to keep you relaxed, maybe some Mr Bean on the ceiling why you get your teeth done?*
*We won’t be liable for any violent laughing episodes during treatment*