Being afraid of the dentist means different things to different people. Maybe it's the thought that treatment will hurt, or that the sounds and smells bring back memories of bad experiences as a child.
The good news is that with a combination of understanding, kindness and gentleness we can do a lot to make dental treatment painless.
It’s not uncommon for patients with an extreme dental phobia to avoid going to the dentist for years.
If you haven't seen a dentist for several years because of fear or anxiety, be reassured that we will do everything to make sure your experience with us is a pleasurable one and our main objective is to make sure you are dentally fit and able to go to the dentist every six-months for your routine dental examinations.
Most people who are scared of the dentist have bad memories from childhood…this is even true for Pieter, founder of Calm & Gentle Dental Care. His own experience as a child has stayed with him over the years and prompted him initially become a dentist then create a dental practice dedicated to helping patients just like him!
In the first instance, we will ask you to complete an Anxiety Questionnaire; this will help us determine what triggers your fear and how we can help you. Download the questionnaire and start your journey to a life without dental fear and anxiety.
Fear of pain at the dentist was number two in a survey that we carried out. It highlighted just how many people really worry about experiencing pain in the dental chair. This, like general fear may have come from a childhood memory or hearing other people’s accounts of while they were at the dentist.
Technology has moved on in leaps and bounds over the past decade alone. Treatment can be painless today using special methods in a calm and gentle environment. Often fear of pain is linked to another fear of not being in control, we worked very hard with our patients to let them be in control at all times. Treatment is taken at a slower pace and various techniques are used to eliminate the pain that may have once been associated with treatment. For example, prior to treatment starting, where an area needs to be made numb a special topical gel will be used to freeze the area first.
Technology has advanced beyond belief and equipment is now much quieter than in the past. That said, for patients that have a fear of the drill or any noise we recommend brining along your favourite tunes and earphones to wear during your appointment. This will not only help you relax but help you forget that you are actually in a dental chair.
Dental treatment can be costly and for patients that have neglected their teeth for many years their fear can often be associate with the unknown, not knowing what treatment is required conjures up all sort of things in our mind and we often think we will not be able to afford the treatment.
Once we have created a bespoke treatment plan for you we can go at a pace that suits not only your fear but your budget. Spending money on your teeth is often not a priority and we understand that. To help patients further we offer various finance options that can help spread the cost.
Once you are dental fit one option is to join our Care Plan which includes all routine and general dental treatment for a monthly fee…no surprises!
There is no getting away from the anxiety most of us get at the thought of having an injection…even reading this will sent shivers down your spin if you have a real needle phobia. We cannot tell you we will not use them, we have to when providing certain treatments however, what we will tell you is you will be in control at all times and we will take every step possible to reducing your fear. For some patients that being told exactly what will happen at each stage; for others they do not want to know.
Whatever you’re level of fear or how you want us to deal with it, we will
For some patients the chair causes the greatest amount of fear and anxiety. It can be the thought of sitting in it or maybe laying down. This is common and a fear we are able to help you cope with and manage. Always let us know why you feel anxious and we can start to determine what might have caused it. In most cases the cause was from years gone by and due to the latest techniques and improved equipment, the fear no longer exists.
This is a common fear, patients can often feel like they might choke. Once we understand a patient’s fear, their anxiety programme is created with their fear(s) in mind. We will go through the techniques we use to prevent you from feeling like this.
The fear of the unknown is normal, we can all experience this from time to time. For patients that have neglected their teeth they often think they can never look nice again and that they have left it too late. It is never too late, we always have a solution for you. Things are never as bad as they seem…don’t
We understand how much strength it takes to face your fear. We feel privileged that patients would choose us to help them overcome their fear. We would never patronise someone or make them feel embarrassed or ashamed. We would never judge someone or question why they have left it so long. People have their own reasons. If a patient wants to share their story with us, that’s great, it helps us build a picture of how their anxiety has controlled them for so long. We promise…never to patronise or judge you!
This fear is one of the easiest to overcome – we work with you very closely at a slow pace to help you feel as if you in control, and you are. If you want to stop at any time you can. We use various methods, each working different for different patients. During your consultation we can discuss how we can help you and learn what triggered this fear of dentist in the first place. Once we know that, we can help you overcome it.
Unlike years gone by dental clinics tend to use various air-fresheners to disguise the traditional smells associated with a dental clinic. In the past materials were used that emanated strong fragrances; these materials are no longer used in dentistry and hence, most of the smells you may associate with a dental clinic are long gone.
Page last reviewed: August 24, 2020. Next review due: Sept 2021