Q. I’m scared to visit my dentist. Can you help?
A. According to NHS statistics, about 25 percent of us don’t like going to the dentist — it’s one of the most common phobias people face. If you’re worried that the dentists won’t understand your fears, let me assure that they will. We’ve seen and heard it all before.
For some, it may bring back bad memories from when they were a child, or maybe a close friend or family member has had a bad experience. Whatever the reason, there are ways to overcome these fears. If you’ve not been to the dentist for a number of years and are concerned about your teeth but feel nervous, start by booking yourself in for a simple check-up.
This will be a simple clean and polish, giving you a chance to get yourself familiar with the dentist and building up trust and a relationship as well as giving them the opportunity to assess whether you require further treatment or not. It can result in not having to go back for another 12 months or being advised that you require treatment.
Either way, you’ll be better prepared to return. Other methods include using distraction and relaxation techniques like bringing your earphones to an appointment so that you can listen to music or asking a nurse to talk to you and help take your mind off things and put you at ease.
You can even take your friends along. I have many patients who bring their friends along with them and you’d be surprised how much of a difference that makes.