I hate visiting the dentist: can I get help with this?

Yes. If you fear or dread going to the dentist then rest assured, you are not alone. Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed by this: dental professionals recognise that a great many people find visiting the dentist an ordeal and would rather avoid doing so.

This fear or ‘dental anxiety’ can arise, often as a result of one of several factors:

  • Fear of the drill
  • Fear of injections
  • Pain
  • Fear of local anaesthetic not working
  • Unnecessary or over the top treatment
  • Bad experience with the dentist
  • Losing control

These are just some of the many triggers of dental anxiety. In severe cases it can lead to ‘dental phobia’. People who are dental phobic avoid visiting the dentist and endure painful or diseased teeth rather than visit a clinic.

Unfortunately, this can lead to a whole range of problems and can even result in you losing your teeth!

What you will find is that many dentists are aware of this problem and are there to help. They will be sympathetic and understanding of your concerns and will try and help you overcome any fears you may have.

There are dentists who specialise in nervous patients. They will talk to you beforehand as well as explaining any treatment step by step. There are techniques you can use such as an agreed hand signal if you need to take a break or ‘distraction’ methods such as listening to music or handling a ‘stress ball’. Other options include sedation and hypnotherapy.

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