Tips for if you are Nervous Before a Dental Appointment
Here at New Street Dental Care in Andover, we understand that going to see your dentist can be really nerve racking. So, we have come up with some tips on how you can prepare yourself if you are nervous before a dental appointment. These tips can show you it is possible to make visiting your dentist a breeze. You can take a dental anxiety quiz here to see how severe your anxiety is!
1. Get to know the team
If you get really nervous before a dental appointment and are thinking of registering with a new practice, try and visit the reception rather than phoning. This then gives you a chance to become familiar with the surroundings and meet some of the staff members.
For example, at New Street Dental Care, we offer a complimentary slot for you to come and meet the dentist. This can include having a cup of coffee or tea, explaining your fears and having a tour around the practice. You are not obligated to register or have any treatment that day if you do not feel ready but you can go away and have a think about it. Our principal dentist, Julian Chen has had 30 years of experience with nervous patients and will do everything he can to ensure that you are comfortable and reassured. Our associate dentist, Mahsa Balaie is very compassionate and she has a really calming presence to help put you at ease.
2. Let your dentist know how you are feeling
Tell your dentist when you get to your appointment so that he/she is aware of how you are feeling and can then treat you sympathetically. Also the nurse may chat to you and help you to feel reassured, while ensuring that everything is properly explained to you, so that nothing comes as a surprise.
3. Ask the dentist to write things down for you
Sometimes when you are very nervous before a dental appointment and during, it can difficult to take in all the information that the dentist has just told you, even if you need simple treatment. In cases like this it would be a good idea to ask the dentist to write things down or print the information off so that you can have a look at it when you are home. you can then have a think properly about whether you would like to go ahead with it. You should never feel pressure to make a decision there and then, make sure you get all the facts and then you can make an informed decision.
4. Avoid looking things up on the internet
Avoid looking at articles on the internet that have not been written by a reliable source. There can be lots of false information that could make you feel unnecessarily worse. Also, avoid looking at blogs of other people who have had bad experiences as again this may increase your anxiety. On the other hand, look at the Google reviews or other types for reviews as that can help you find a sympathetic dentist or dental practice. For example, look at the Facebook reviews of New Street Dental Care to see how many nervous people we have helped.
5. Bring a friend or family member to your dental appointments
Bringing someone with you for moral support can make you feel more comfortable when going into the practice. Some surgeries, if they have the space, will be able to accommodate your friend or family member too if you wish for them to come in to see the dentist with you. Try and chose a friend or family member who is not so anxious of the dentist but shows a positive attitude towards the benefits of dental treatment and a supportive person to help you feel less worried.
6. Before you go try some breathing techniques
If you are nervous before a dental appointment and it is only a few hours or even minutes away, taking deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth has be proven to help slow your heart rate and hence reduce the feeling of anxiety. Count to 8 as you breath in, hold it for 4 seconds, breath out for 8 and then hold it for another 4 seconds; this technique is used for relaxation during yoga and meditation.
For more severe dental anxiety, if you have tried the above and you still feel too nervous, you can consider the following:
7. If your dental anxiety is really bad you can get some medication
If you feel that your anxiety affects your daily life and that you really can’t visit your dentist without extra help, you can see your doctor first who will assess if you would benefit from some anti-anxiety medication. But your doctor will only consider mediation in severe cases.
8. Dental treatment under conscious sedation may be offered to you
Again this will only be considered in severe cases and if you require dental treatment that you would not be comfortable with. Using sedation, you are still awake (conscious) but it makes you feel very relaxed. You are still able to talk and respond to questions, but once the sedation has worn off you may not be able to remember the procedure. Sedation usually incurs an extra cost and sometime your dental practice will not be able to offer this and you will need to be referred to a hospital or a dental practice that can offer this service.
9. Dentists are here to help!
Remember your dentist is there to help you and to improve your dental health. At New Street Dental Care based in Andover Hampshire our patient’s experience is very important to us. We make it our mission to improve your knowledge and health for a great smile now and in the future!