Odontophobia, or dental phobia, is a common fear – but it is relatively easy to overcome with the right guidance and practitioner.
Often, what patients really need is the help of a caring dentist, to reassure them that the experience of going to the dentist does not have to be an uncomfortable or fear-inducing one.
At Smile More we strive to provide a friendly, stress-free experience for all of our patients, but most specifically we want to make the process relaxing for those who have endured bad dental experiences in the past, or are simply nervous.
There are some tips you can implement along with our help to make your experience as smooth as possible:
Steps to reduce dental anxiety
- Talk to your dentist
Communication is key when it comes to making your experience at the dentist a positive one. If you let your dentist know your concerns, then they can work out the best way to continue with the procedure and reduce your stress.
- Use hand signals
You may be worried that your dentist won’t be able to hear you during your treatment or when you have tools in your mouth, so it can be helpful to establish some hand signals as a way of communicating effectively during your procedure. Remember, you can ask your dentist to stop at any time if you feel uncomfortable or need a moment.
- Use your breath to encourage relaxation
Breathing techniques are used to overcome multiple anxieties. Focusing on your breath can help with reducing stress, and also occupy your mind so you are not worrying about what is going on in the practice.
- Book an appointment early in the day to avoid a morning spent worrying about your appointment
If you book your appointment first thing, you will get it out of the way and be less likely to cancel it. Most often the fear of going to the dentist is much worse than the actual experience, and so if you manage to make it to the practice you will realise there really wasn’t much to worry about.
- Let go of bad memories
If your fear is based on a genuinely bad experience at a previous dentist, try as best as you can to disassociate that memory from your current practitioner and move forward thinking positively.
At Smile More, we want our patients to experience peace of mind, knowing that they are in safe hands and in total control of their procedure. We have a highly skilled team of cosmetic dentists and trusted specialists, who are experienced in making the procedure as comfortable as possible for our patients.
Dr Paul Abrahams is the principal dentist at SmileMore and has worked in North London for 21 years providing general and cosmetic dental care.
Dr Paul Abrahams heads up the SmileMore Dental Care team. He qualified at Guys Dental Hospital in 1989, and has undertaken extensive postgraduate studies in cosmetic and aesthetic dentistry since.
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