At Sensational Smiles, we are experienced in helping nervous patients overcome their fear of the dentist. If you suffer from dental anxiety, you are not alone. Dental anxiety is a common occurrence, and one we are very used to managing. Dental fear can come from a variety of sources, but it does not have to get in the way of your oral health. In this article, we will look at how to find a dentist for nervous patients.
Understanding and acknowledging your anxiety
One of the first steps to finding the right dentist for nervous patients is to understand the underlying reason why you are fearful of a visit.
Are you anxious receiving dental anaesthetics?
Is it because you are embarrassed that it has been so long since you have been to a dentist? Maybe you had a negative experience in the past that you don’t want to repeat? No matter the cause of your fear, it is important to take steps to overcome it so you can schedule a dental visit and re-establish your oral health. Dental problems will not go away on their own. In fact, they often worsen without treatment, leading to serious and sometimes irreversible damage.
Ask people you trust for recommendations
Talking about your fear can induce anxiety. It’s important to find people you trust such as family, close friends, or even your primary care doctor. Sharing your fears can often be a positive experience – family and friends may be able to recommend a dentist who understands how you feel. We get a lot of new patients that come to see us after being recommended to us by their friends and family. So, ask around and if you hear a particular dentist’s name a lot you will know they are great at helping nervous patients just like yourself.
Do your research
Once you have received a few names, it’s time to do some research online. A quick Google search can lead you to their website where you can learn more about the services they provide. Some dentists will specifically mention they are trained for treating nervous patients and they are likely to offer services such as conscious sedation. Another great way to check how good they are is by reading reviews, particularity ones written by people just like you. Try to read about their approach to dealing with anxious patients. Does the dentist truly understand the impact of dental fear and offer a calm, relaxing approach to helping patients overcome that anxiety?
Reach out to the dentists you want to learn more about
You don’t have to walk into their office, simply start with a quick e-mail or phone call to find out how they help nervous patients. Begin by explaining your concerns and listen to their answers. This conversation can go a long way in determining if you think you would be comfortable consulting further with that dental practice. If the receptionist is kind, caring and takes time to understand your position it is more likely you have found a practice that is used to dealing with nervous patients. If they seem rushed and apathetic then perhaps it is not right for you.
Book an appointment when you feel comfortable
The final step is booking that first consultation appointment with the dentist you feel most confident about. Have a close friend or family member come with you to help you go at your own pace. Overcoming dental anxiety is not always easy, but by taking small steps toward your goal, you will find a dentist who can help a nervous patient reclaim oral health.
How our team at Sensational Smiles can help
Our dentists and dental team are experienced in working with nervous patients and will provide you with the help you need to make visiting the dentist as stress-free as possible. Some of the services we offer include:
- Topical anaesthetics to make sure the area is completely numb prior to local anaesthetic. This a simply a gel we can apply to the gums prior to injections. You will be surprised at how effective it is and why your previous dentists have not used it before. We generally use it on every patient whether they are nervous or not.
- A soothing, relaxing environment. We have recently installed TV’s (with Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney Plus) on the ceiling which helps take your mind off the dental procedure. It works remarkably well – almost as good as sedation.
- Strategies to help you work through your anxiety and keep you calm.
- A tour of the office during your consultation to put you at ease and make you comfortable with the team.
- For nervous patients we normally recommend a free consultation where you can attend and chat through your concerns with the dentist and treatment coordinator in a relaxed room, away from the dental surgery. This allows you to meet us and see if you are comfortable trusting us with your dental health prior to attending for an examination.
If you have put off going to the dentist because you are nervous, fear not, our experienced team will make you feel at ease from the moment we pick up the phone to you. We have the experience to help you overcome your anxiety and help you get the dental care that you need and deserve. We’re happy to answer any of your questions or schedule a consultation appointment for you to come in and meet the team.