Do your knees tremble at the thought of sitting in the dentist’s chair? You’re not alone. An estimated 12% of the UK population suffers from extreme dental anxiety, causing many to postpone vital treatment, or avoid it altogether. Next time you’re thinking of cancelling that appointment, try these tips instead:
- Find the right dentist – A good dentist will do their best to accommodate your fears and anxieties. At Exeter Advanced Dentistry, we are dedicated to providing long-term oral healthcare in a comfortable, stress-free environment. Our oral surgeon, Mr. Richard Kerr, has nearly 30 years of experience, and offers treatment under intravenous sedation for nervous patients or complicated procedures.
- Make an early morning appointment – If possible, make your dental appointment first thing in the morning so you have less time to dwell on it throughout the day.
- Bring a friend – If you are nervous about going to your appointment by yourself, bring a friend or relative who visits the dentist regularly to sit with you throughout your visit.
- Communicate your fears – Let your dentist know about your fears and anxieties. At Exeter Advanced Dentistry, we will talk through all our procedures in advance and make sure you are comfortable with any treatment before we continue. Your first visit will be a consultation and will not involve any needles or drills – you can view it as an opportunity to get to know your dentist and to get comfortable sitting in a dentist’s chair.
- Practice relaxation techniques – Relaxation exercises, such as meditation and deep breathing, can help to reduce stress levels by relaxing your muscles and lowering your heart rate. Set aside a few minutes a day to practice, so you will be ready to use these techniques during your appointment.
- Give yourself a reward – Develop positive associations with dental visits by promising yourself small rewards, such as a new pair of shoes, or a family outing, each time you complete a treatment. Over time, going to the dentist will hopefully become less of a chore and more of an opportunity to treat yourself to a well-deserved gift.
If you haven’t visited the dentist in many years, bear in mind that dental treatments are far more advanced today than their historical reputation suggests. Many procedures are completely painless and there are several options for patients who are afraid of needles. The dentists at Exeter Advanced Dentistry pride themselves on offering a gentle, caring approach that will put even the most anxious patients at ease.
Find out more about the services we offer by contacting Exeter Advanced Dentistry today.