Being nervous of the dentist is more common than you think — and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
While some people have a specific dental phobia, others may suffer from general anxiety, which makes events like medical appointments challenging for them.
If you’re affected by these issues, read on. We offer our tips on how to get over dental phobia and even look forward to seeing your dentist!
Tip one: Find a friendly dentist
It sounds obvious, but if you find a friendly dental team who are happy to reassure you before you even step in the door, you’re halfway there! Your first interaction with your dental surgery team should be warm and welcoming, from the person you call to arrange your appointment through to your dentist. So you should have a good idea from that first phone call how you are going to feel when you step into the clinic.
Tip two: Understand that your dentist wants to see you!
Know that a good dentist will always be happy to see you. Even if you haven’t been to the dentist for years, it’s never too late for a check-up. Dentists understand that if you are anxious about seeing them, then you may have put it off for a while — and the important thing to know is that they won’t judge you! They’ll just be pleased that you beat your fear to come for that needed check-up.
Tip three: Communicate with your dentist
Letting your dentist know before your appointment that you’re a little nervous is a great idea. Just naming your fears out loud can actually help you find them less daunting. And your dentist will appreciate a heads-up so they know to give you any extra time or attention you may need.
Tip four: Find out about the latest treatments
If you haven’t visited the dentist for a while, you may have an outdated idea of what treatments involve. You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that methods have moved on in the last few years and that often your dental treatment and result will be a lot better than you imagined! To use one example, you can have white fillings nowadays instead of the old-style metal ones, and, of course, you will be given a local anaesthetic so you won’t feel any pain. And remember, with fillings, their purpose is to avoid more complex work in the future, so it’s a positive step towards better dental health.
Tip five: Make an early appointment
If you arrange your dental appointment in the morning, you won’t have to stress about it all day! In fact, you will probably spend your day wondering what you were worrying about in the first place!
Tip six: Take someone with you
Your dentist won’t mind if you take a friend or family member with you to your appointment. Having that moral support should take the edge off your anxiety. It’s also useful to have someone with you who can take note of any instructions or recommendations your dentist offers — we all know that when we’re nervous, it’s hard to remember everything we need to do.
We’re here to help
At Opal Dental, we’re here to help. We understand that many people can feel anxious about visiting the dentist. Just let our friendly receptionists know when you give us a call, and we will do everything we can to put you at ease.
We’re your local friendly dentist in Auckland and love nothing more than building up relationships with our patients. So let us work with you to overcome your fears and get back on track to happy teeth and smile — now and in the future!