How to tackle your fear of the dentist

This is a collaborative post

I am not going to lie – I absolutely hate the dentist. I always have and I think I probably always will. I think I inherited my Dad’s dodgy teeth because over the years I have had more fillings than I can remember. I live with someone who used to have an addiction to coke (the cola kind) and he doesn’t have one filling – it makes me sick! 

There was one time when things were even worse than needing just a filling – I had to have root canal. I was 18, I had a tooth ache and I ended up needing root canal. For someone that had such an apparent fear of anything being done, this was the worst thing possible. I remember going in for the treatment, sitting in the chair, laying back and then having a massive freak out. I cried, and it didn’t go ahead. Instead, I was referred to a dental hospital so that they could put me to sleep to have it done. I mean, what a wuss!

Over the years though, I have got braver. I still don’t like it. I still tense up as soon as that chair starts laying back. I still hate the rush of that cold air that they insist on using to get a better look. The feel of the metal scraping along my teeth. The sound of the cleaner, the drill in the next room. Gah, it’s just all awful to me.

But, I have children now and I don’t want them to be scared so I absolutely have to put on a brave face when we go to our appointments. I am sure in time though, that they will be nervous about visiting the dentist (because isn’t everyone at some stage in their life?!) and so it will be that will need to reassure them, just like it was my Mum back at that awful appointment that was reassuring me.

If you or your children have a phobia of the dentist, then why not take a look these ways you can tackle it? And if you’re looking for a dentist, then try somewhere like Docklands Dental 

Find an understanding dental practice 

This is so important, but it really does help to have a nice dentist. I spent years visiting the same one as she treated me like a child! She was wonderful. When I moved, I had to find a new dentist and thankfully the one I visit now is just as nice. When searching for a dental practice take a look at their website as many of them state if they specialise in nervous patients or those with phobias 

When you find one and pluck up the courage to call, speak to the receptionist and explain your fears. They may ask you to pop in and speak with the dentist first, introduce you to the environment and the staff! Small steps will make all the difference! 

Time 

Always ensure you book an appointment in the early part of the day. This way, you won’t be sat at home or at your desk at work worrying desperately about it. And you have less time to back out of the appointment and cancel it too!  

Take someone with you 

I used to have my Mum with me at my appointments and if I needed her now, I know I would still ask her to come! Bringing a friend or family member along with you for support is more common than you might think. The dentist won’t mind if you have someone to accompany you throughout your appointment and they’re there if you need to squeeze a hand for support.  

Listen to music 

If it’s the sounds at the dentist that bring back fears, then ask if you can listen to music while you’re in the dentist chair. 

Sedation Clinics 

If you really don’t think anything will help, or your fears are rooted too deeply, then simply ask for a referral to a sedation clinic like I did when I needed root canal. All you need to do is ask, most dentists are very accommodating and want their patients to have a positive experience.

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