According to the NHS, a quarter of us dread a visit to the dentist. Being a nervous dental patient is quite common and most dentists will do their best to accommodate people who are not looking forward to getting into the chair. If you’re a nervous dental patient then you can take steps to make your experience easier and less nerve-wracking.
Tip 1: Find a dentist who understands
Being able to visit a dentist who knows you and understands that you’re a little unsure of dental treatment is the top tip for a nervous dental patient. Ask friends or family who they would recommend or find dentists like those at Smile Pad who cater specifically to anyone with dental dread.
Tip 2: Book early appointments
Dread is something that tends to build up over a period of time and get worse as it goes on. If you book your appointments early in the day then you won’t have much time to dread them. This can help cut down on time spent getting anxious and reduce the stress of the appointment in advance.
Tip 3: Remember that modern technology makes it easier
Pain and discomfort are two elements of dental treatment that make people very nervous. However, advances in technology now mean that these are far less of a problem than even five or 10 years ago. Everything from injections to drills have been made less painful and simpler to administer – the dentist today is nothing like the dentist of your childhood.
Tip 4: Agree a stop sign
Often, the anxiety about a visit to the dentist stems from not being in control. You can agree a sign with your dentist in advance that means that you want to stop. Whether this is something like pointing a finger or tapping them on the arm, if you know that you can bring the treatment to a stop by doing it you will feel more relaxed and in control.
Tip 5: Try some relaxation techniques
It’s amazing what simple deep breathing can achieve when it comes to helping you to remain calm. Learn some relaxation techniques that you can put into practice when you go to the dentist and make the experience less stressful. If it would help you to listen to music, or to a particular radio station, then ask the dentist to play it.