Helping nervous dental patients relax

Going to the dentist is high on the list of common phobias. For many, the thought of sitting in that chair, listening to those whirring noises is enough to send them running for the hills. However, regular check-ups are a vital part of teeth hygiene. Not only can dentists help keep teeth as clean and healthy as possible, they ix caries and treat gum disease – and even spot the first signs of more serious conditions, such as oral cancer.

Yet all the logical reasoning in the world will not stop an anxious patient from feeling fearful of a dental appointment. We at Cheadle Dental Practice come across nervous patients often and we have learnt a number of tips and techniques to help soothe the nerves and make you feel like we are the gentlest dentists in Heald Green.

Preparing for your session with the dentist should begin well in advance of the day itself. While people with extreme fear might consider a course of therapy, others who merely feel anxious could benefit from visualizing the appointment in their mind. Shut your eyes, find a quiet, relaxing spot and go through the whole process from start to finish, visualizing everything going smoothly.

If you can, speak to the dentist in advance about your concerns. You won’t be the first nervous patient they will have encountered, and you certainly won’t be the last. They might even be able to offer you some kind of sedation, hypnotism or other help.

If you are going to have work done that you know will involve injections, such as root canal work, or even cosmetic procedures that will cause an element of discomfort, such as teeth whitening, focus on the end results. Have a treat planned for afterwards to give you something nice to think about – if eating will be out of the question, perhaps plan to buy yourself some flowers or to go to the cinema with a friend.

On the day itself, wear comfortable clothes and shoes and make sure you have eaten well – unless you are undergoing a procedure that prevents this. Brush your teeth beforehand –this make life more pleasant for the dentist and give you added confidence.

If it is a child who is anxious, get them to bring a soft toy with them. Role-play the situation just before you set out. See if your dentist will allow you to bring their favourite CD along to play during the appointment. Don’t show them that you are worried, or they will pick up on your mood.

Always bear in mind that the dentist is there to help you look after your teeth, so it is in their best interests to treat a patient who is as calm as possible. Pick up the phone and speak to us today, especially if you have a toothache or feel like you need urgent attention – we pride ourselves on being among the most approachable emergency dentist in Heald Green and we promise we don’t bite!