We have all been there, out with friends when all of a sudden you have a sharp pain which comes as a complete surprise – toothache! I myself know it all too well having had to go through a few fillings, extractions and one root canal treatment. Thankfully though I don’t do too badly going to the dentist these days. I used to be petrified of the dentist and would avoid it at all costs, my comfort being the main cost! I eventually plucked up the courage and found a great dentist in Edinburgh that didn’t just fix my dental issues but also helped with my dentist fear and anxiety.
The NHS says that 1 in 4 is too scared to visit the dentist, this is a worrying number. I was very that 1 in 4 not too long ago but since then I have had many dental appointments and even had that infamous root canal treatment. Now, don’t get me wrong I certainly won’t be running back for another root canal treatment but it certainly wasn’t as bad as I had feared. It was a little uncomfortable but other than that, it was fine. I actually fell asleep for a few minutes at one point!
Choosing a dentist is a very personal process, I would always say picking someone you can trust is the first step. It doesn’t matter who the dentist is but if you, for whatever reason, don’t feel right then change. My best piece of advice though for those who are very scared then I would suggest having a look for a dental clinic that specialises in treating patients with dental phobias. There many options open to people like us, whether that be simple reassurance, calming techniques or as far as sedation to take all of your anxiety and fears away from the situation.
4 Tips for getting through a dental appointment
- Find a dentist that is understanding to your situation. Many times it is as easy as asking friends for recommendations but most dental clinics that specialise in dental fear will advertise it on their website and facebook pages.
- Do what I do, pick an appointment which is very early in the morning. This gives you less time to worry and potentially talk yourself out of going to the appointment. This was a big help to me.
- Agree with your dentist that a specific hand signal means you need to stop what you are doing. This is a very good tip for making sure you stay in control of the situation. It can be as simple as raising your hand.
- Take some music and headphones. Not all dentists allow this but the ones that I know of that deal with fearful patients are more than happy to allow it and generally suggest it! Having some music, podcast or audiobook to listen to will take you away from what is actually happening and also help drown out some of the dental work noise that is going on.
- Start small. If you know you need a lot of work done then ask if you can start with a simple clean and polish in order to tip your toes in, so to speak. This will help you understand how your chosen dentist operates and if you wanted to test the hand raising tip this would be a great time to do that to settle your fears.
I strongly suggest going to any dentist in Edinburgh even for a chat. It might be the most important step toward a healthier smile that you will ever take.
Healthy teeth are worth trying to overcome the fear, trust me I was scared too.