How to manage your fear of the dentist

Many of us are terrified of going to the dentist. This is often due to a bad experience as a child or by inheriting fear from our parents. It can have a negative effect on our self confidence and can lead to pain and dental neglect because we are just too scared to get treatment and will only go when we really have to. 

Here are a few things you can do to manage and eventually overcome your fear of the dentist. 

Choose your dentist carefully. Always try and go with a recommendation or review. It really helps to know that your dentist has experience in dealing with anxious patients, they are not all the same! Some dentists are members of the Dental Phobia Society and have greater experience in this area. 

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Take things slowly. Let you dentist know you are anxious when the appointment is made. This will give them a chance to allow plenty of time for you. It is best to avoid treatment at your first visit unless you are in pain. It may help to bring some someone along with you for some support. 

Be honest. Tell you dentist as much about your fears as possible. Is it the injection? the sound of the drill? being flat in the dental chair? The more information you can give will give the dental team the best chance to tailor the treatment in a way that you can cope with.

Consider Sedation. Some people just cannot overcome their fear but still need to have treatment done.  Sedation is a safe and effective way of treating both anxious and non-anxious patients. The sedative drug is given through a vein and very quickly you feel very calm and relaxed. You don’t remember the treatment or how long you have been in the chair. The recovery time is very fast and you will be leaving the practice minutes after the treatment has finished. You will need someone to accompany you and to keep an eye on you for a little while afterwards as you may feel a little sleepy but after a good night sleep it will be like it never happened!

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Keep going! Once you have plucked up the courage to visit the dentist, make sure you keep it up. Leaving long gaps between appointments makes the fear return so regular appointments that avoid the need for much treatment is the best way to manage anxiety. 

At Andrew House Dental Practice, Dr Iram Sheikh is a member of the Dental Phobia Society and vast experience in treating anxious patients. She is calm, gentle and kind and will talk you through your treatment step by step. Andrew house offers sedation in house with our highly trained professionals, so you are in excellent hands. 

Give the practice a call on 01732 353358 or visit our website to read about our services and meet our team. We look forward to hearing from you.

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