Frequently Asked Questions Q. Why am I afraid of the dentist? Being 'afraid of the dentist' may mean different things to different people. It can help once you know what it is that worries you most. Maybe the sounds and smells bring back memories of bad experiences as a child, or make you think that having treatment will hurt. The good news is that here at Calm and Gentle Dental Care we are dedicated to helping patients understand their fear and overcoming it! By completing one of our Anxiety Questionnaires we can identify your fear and enrol you on a programme developed especially for you. We find that kindness and gentleness helps too. Q. I have not been to see a dentist for a long time – what is it like now? Dental techniques and procedures have improved so much that modern dental treatment can now be completely painless. Despite this, most people still feel a little nervous at the thought of going to the dentist. If you have not been to see a dentist for some time, you will probably find that things have improved a lot since your last visit. The general attitude is likely to be more relaxed, the dental techniques and safety procedures will be much better, and the equipment will be more up to date. We invite all our patients to come along to meet our treatment coordinator initially in a calm and relaxed environment. During your free consultation, where you will not be rushed you can express your fears which will help understand them allowing us to treat you in a way that suits you and helps overcome your fear. Q. How do I choose a dentist? Many dentists today offer special treatment for nervous patients. The first fear to deal with is the fear of telling other people that you are afraid of dental treatment. If you can discuss it with your friends or colleagues you are likely to find someone else who has similar problems. We are so proud to have helped hundreds of patients over the years and they too want to shout it from the roof tops…listen and read our happy patients success stories, one day that will be you! Q. Do some practices specialise in treating nervous patients? Yes. Here at Calm and Gentle Dental Care that is exactly what we do, we are used to dealing with nervous patients regularly. Our year of experience has helped us developed three programmes that help us understand your level of anxiety and fear. Once we have identified your level we can create a bespoke programme just for you. Its not just our dentist that have vast experience when treating nervous patients it is our entire team. Every member of staff has been trained to help patients manage their fear, from the first call to their last visit. Q. I haven't been to the dentist in a long time, will I need a lot of treatment? Years ago it was normal for people to need fillings every time they went to their dentist, but things have changed for the better now. The dental team will now want to help you have, and keep, a healthy mouth and healthy teeth. Although you may not have seen a dentist in year, you may be surprised at how little treatment you need. Prolong it can often increase our anxiety. Taking that ‘massive’ first step is amazing and you will feel so proud of yourself…try it, you will see! Once your mouth healthy, with the help of our dental team, you should need less treatment and there will be less for them to do in the future. It is important to keep up your regular visits to the dental team. The team will not just check for tooth decay, but will also help you prevent gum disease. Q. What will happen at the first appointment? Your first appointment will be for a free consultation. See it as an opportunity for you to 'interview' the dentist, treatment coordinator, receptionist and other members of the team, and have a chat about what to expect next. During your first consultation your treatment coordinator will go through your anxiety questionnaire. Together you will determine what triggers your fears and she will help you understand what we can do to address them. Our patients are never judged or rushed…we go at your pace. Q. Should I tell the dental team that I am nervous? Absolutely! It is very important to let us know that you are nervous, so we can help you. Your treatment coordinator will go through your questionnaire and answer any questions you may have. Often after listening to a patients story it becomes apparent why they are nervous. If you do not say, we do not know. Help us help you…being nervous or having a fear is nothing to be ashamed of; there is nothing that we have not heard before or come across so please do not think you are different…we will be able to help you. Q. I am afraid of injections, what can I do? Having a fear of injections is very common, even patients that do not really experience high levels of fear will tell you they still get butterflies when it comes to the point where their tooth needs to be made numb. Our questionnaire helps us understand these fears before you sit in the dental chair, everything is out in the open. These days we have a special topical anaesthetic gels that can be applied to the area of the gum before the injection. This gel numbs the gum so that you cannot feel the needle. Q. What is the best time of day to visit the dentist? Nervous and anxious patients often like booking early morning appointments so they do not spend the day worrying. Allow plenty of time so that you can get to the practice in a relaxed frame of mind - arriving in a rush will only make you feel more nervous. It is usually best to have something to eat before you arrive, so there is no chance of you feeling faint while you are in the chair. We aim to work with our patients and can offer appo9intments at a time that suits you. Speak to our treatment coordinator who will schedule a free consultation at a time that suits you. Q. Can I go to sleep for treatment? General anaesthetics (sedation) are now only rarely available for routine treatment. We can offer this service and indeed do for patients that suffer from an extreme high level of anxiety. Our objective is to get you to a place where this is not necessary which is possible. If after meeting us you still feel sedation is the way forward for you, we can arrange this. Q. Can I ask the dental team to stop if I need to? YES… Absolutely! It is very important to us that our patients feel in control at all times. Usually you can just raise your hand, and the treatment can be stopped for a few minutes until you are ready to start again. Once you know that you can control the situation you will feel more confident. Q. Can I take a friend with me? We would encourage patients to bring a friend of family member along. We find patients feel better if they have a familiar face with them. A reassuring and capable friend is often a great help, very often they can be your second pair of ears too. Q. Can I take anything with me? Listening to music is a good way to help you relax. We encourage patients to bring along their best tunes and earphones when they are having treatments. Q. How can I relax during treatment? We know it is difficult but thinking hard about something other than the treatment is a good distraction. Try to solve a puzzle in your mind, or perhaps work out a plan for each day of next year's holiday. Or give yourself something tricky to do - try to wiggle each toe in turn, without moving any of the others. Q. What techniques can the practice use to help me? This will all depend on your level of anxiety which we will determine once you have completed a questionnaire. There are many things we can do to help you relax and overcome your fear. Q. Will things get better with time? As you get to know and trust your dentist and other members of the dental team, you will find your fears start to lessen. In time you will gain control over your fears, and dental care can become a normal part of your life as it has for hundreds of our patients, they were once like you. Q. What will it cost me? This is impossible to say at this stage however, we are keen to help you understand the costs. This is one of the reasons we have a dedicated treatment coordinator to hand. She will help you every step of the way.