Getting to the root of your fear of the dentist
The dark, clowns and dentists are some of the top phobias recorded, with 15% of people admitting to being scared to go to the dentist. I know that I am scared of all of them!
We know that fears are not always rational. Did you know that it’s possible to have a phobia of bananas? However, phobias can affect your life if they aren’t tackled and not going to the Dentist is one of them.
Smilepod Holborn sent through some ideas on how to relax and beat the fear of going to the dentist.
1) Make small steps
For someone who is genuinely scared of going to the dentist, just picking up the phone to make an appointment can be a huge milestone. Try and feel proud of the small steps you take. I now try and see a dentist and hygienist at least once a year. More if possible.
2) Build it up.
Dentist Zahra Fernandes advises clients to take things slowly if they are feeling nervous. She suggests, “even if you cant do everything you need at once just get started. Come for a check-up so you know what you need – all that happens is we tell you if treatment is needed. I think some clients are scared we would start drilling but this would never happen! Then come for your dental hygiene which is easy and painless and will leave your smile looking aesthetically better. Then you get used to us and into the habit of coming to the dentist. The environment is what makes people scared but once you are used to it you’ll feel better.”
3) Know why you are afraid.
Dentist Ana Polidoro recommends nervous clients think about the root cause of their fear. “What I see as a dentist is whenever you ask why people are scared it is usually due to having a bad experience when they were a child. Once yopu know this I can reassure you. Dentistry has changed so much over the years so your experience won’t be repeated. If you take a chance by coming to us we can make sure you have a positive experience and feel safe – my clients always say it’s much less scary than they expected”. Personally, I hate drilling and needles. I had a brace when I was in my teens and I have painful memories of injections and years of trying to make my teeth straight.
4) Take back control
The fear of the unknown or what is going to happen can be scary for a lot of people. Hygienist Charley Wong says just removing the uncertainty can really help. “With my more nervous clients I always take things really slowly and explain what I am doing and why I am doing it. I also make it clear to my clients that if they need a break at any point they only have to ask. I think clients feel better when they feel like you are working with them. If you understand what is happening it helps anxiety.”
Smilepod dentist suggests that for some clients just having the choice of music and a friend with them might help. We can make the experience very personal to each client and do our best to create a relaxed atmosphere. Sounds good to me. Relax just do it, springs to mind by Frankie goes to Hollywood.
Find the right dentist
Holborn dental nurses Onorina and Andrea suggest clients try and find a dentist they trust. Onorina says, “It’s important to have rapport and once you find the right dentist they will be kind and understanding about fears. “
Andrea adds “there is no need to be scared – we don’t bite! I understand fears –if you come to Smilepod our dentists are really nice will take really good care of you. I even hold some clients hands if they ask. We are understanding and kind here.”