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  • City West Business Park
  • Meadowfield
  • Durham
  • DH7 8ER
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How Do You Get Over Fear of the Dentist?

6th June 2024

Although many jokes make light of people’s fear of dentists, dental phobia is no laughing matter. If you experience anxiety about even getting a checkup, avoiding necessary treatment can leave you in pain and at a greater risk of further health complications. Added to this, phobias and anxieties are not nice for you to have to live with! 

We want you to enjoy a healthy smile and feel comfortable receiving our all-important care. Fortunately, dental anxiety can be managed. Sometimes, it’s even possible to get over your phobias.

Here are some of the best ways to combat your fear of the dentist. 

Name Your Fears

Knowing what you’re scared of is part of overcoming it.

Some of the most common fears centre around the equipment we use and the sounds and smells of the clinic. But the biggest fear is feeling powerless. You may feel anxious about laying back in the chair while we treat you, or you may gag. 

All of these worries are valid and understandable, and naming your fears is a step towards reframing your thoughts. 

Talk To Us

We’re here to help, and we don’t bite (but we can fix yours!). If we know you’re feeling worried or scared about any aspect of your dental care, we can do a few things to help you. 

Firstly, we can reassure you. By providing you with information about your treatment, explaining what to expect, and answering your questions, we can help you feel more at ease. 

We can also go at your pace. The last thing we want is for you to feel rushed or overwhelmed. Going slower and taking breaks can make everything feel more comfortable. 

Finally, if there are adjustments we can make to improve your comfort or help distract you, we will! Your experience is important, and understanding your feelings helps us tailor your care. 

Visit Us At Quieter Times

When anxious about a situation, it’s easy to become overstimulated and overwhelmed. This can make you feel even worse. One option might be to come in during a quieter period when booking your appointment. 

Talk to our reception team or drop us a message, and we’ll see if we can find a quiet time for your appointment that matches your schedule. 

Bring Distractions

Wearing noise-cancelling headphones, listening to your favourite music, podcast, or audiobook, and bringing puzzle books, video games, or something to read are all excellent ways to distract yourself while waiting for your appointment. 

The more you can take your mind off your appointment, the easier it will be for you.

Bring Someone With You

You don’t have to come to the clinic alone. Sometimes, having someone you know and trust with you can help. This could be a partner, family member, or friend. 

This is helpful for moments of increased anxiety. Having someone to hold your hand, provide support, or be there with you could help you feel more grounded and relaxed. 

Using Breathing Exercises

When you feel anxious, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode. This switch in your nervous system prepares your body to respond quickly to danger. Your heart rate increases, your breathing speeds up, and your thinking changes. You will be able to react quickly to danger, but you will find it harder to think rationally. 

When you’re in our clinic, you’re safe. Our team is trained and experienced, but sometimes, it’s easy to forget this. Slowing your breathing can help you get out of fight-or-flight mode, reduce stress, and help you think clearly. 

Practice drawing breath over five or six seconds, holding your breath for the same length, and then exhaling gradually. Repeat this for a few minutes, and you will start feeling calmer.

Practice Grounding and Mindfulness Techniques

Anxiety makes it difficult to think clearly. When your thoughts are cluttered and filled with fear, try using mindfulness or grounding techniques to refocus your attention. 

This could include body scanning, where you concentrate on different areas of your body to examine how they feel in the moment. Alternatively, you could identify details from your environment, such as the sights, sounds, and smells. 

Get Support

Dental phobia is a common problem. To some degree, it affects a large proportion of the population. There is no shame in admitting that you’re scared of dental care. Speak to your GP or a trained counsellor about your phobia.

Talking therapy and anti-anxiety medication are both effective tools in helping you manage your fears. 

Overcoming Your Dental Anxiety

The first step to overcoming your fear of the dentist isn’t easy, but we’re here to help. Our caring team will support you on your journey. Get in touch with us today and book your appointment.

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Unit 10, City West Business Park Meadowfield, Durham, DH7 8ER

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Mon: 9:00 - 17:00

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