16 Mar 5 Tips For Nervous Patients
Are you dental phobic? We can help!
Having had many dental phobic patients at Bancroft Dentistry, I can tell you that you are not alone! People of all ages and backgrounds will be going through a similar feeling of dread whenever the subject of dentistry is brought up.
So here are five tips (plus a bonus one that got added in at the end!) to help you through your dental journey. From booking your initial first appointment, to building the confidence to return on a more regular basis.
5 tips for nervous patients
1. Tell us that you are nervous
It may seem obvious to some people, but others will try and hide the fact that they are scared. If we know there is an issue we can help you much more easily! You can tell anyone you like… the receptionist, the nurse, the dentist, or all of them! We are all here to listen to your concerns and support you as best we can.
Most people know what it is like to attend a medical appointment when you are nervous… Questions you may have are easily forgotten, and those you
do remember to ask, the answers go in one ear and out the other. Bringing someone you trust with you can really help with this situation. If you are happy for them to come into your appointment, you can tell them your concerns beforehand and they can be an extra pair of ears. Or, if nothing else, they can just make sure you make it safely to and from your visit.
3. Have something to eat and drink before your appointment
A lot of people find it difficult to eat or drink when they are feeling anxious, but please do try and have something before you come and see us. Especially if you have a medical condition, such as diabetes, this is really important! Though you don’t have to have a medical condition to feel quite unwell if your blood sugar levels are low. Even if you can’t stomach much, just some toast and a cup of tea will do!
Your favourite music can work as a great distraction technique! We do have tv screens in the surgeries but sometimes it can be difficult to hear and see past the dentist. Having your own earphones in can help to block out other sounds which you might find more unpleasant.
5. Plan a reward for yourself once your treatment is complete
This could be anything… a shopping trip, a meal out, a massage or beauty treatment, or even just a glass of wine! Depending on how much treatment you are having done, you could have small treats after each appointment, or just one bigger treat at the end. However you decide to do it, having something to look forward to will give you something to focus on, other than dentistry.
And a bonus tip – breathe!!
Patients will often hold their breath during treatment, but this tends to cause their whole body to stiffen up. When we are already anxious this is magnified, and before we know it our shoulders are so high they are up by our ears! Not only that, but most people have probably never thought about how strong their facial muscles are…?! I can personally assure you that any dental professional will be able to tell tales of wrestling matches with tongues and tugs of war with lips! This may sound funny; however, it is not only problematic for us, as a patient, you will feel exhausted by the time your appointment has ended. Just the simple act of breathing can reduce this tension and the likelihood of you leaving the practice feeling like you’ve been in a boxing ring!
If you still feel that you are unable to have treatment, there is always the option of sedation. There are a few types of sedation that you can have for dental treatment, 2 of which we offer at Bancroft Dentistry. Our principle dentist, Frank Goulbourn, and our periodontal specialist, Fahd Saleh, can both provide intravenous or oral sedation. To find out more, or book a consultation, please give a reception team a call on 01462 451167.
I really hope that some of these tips have been of benefit to you. The whole environment and dental instruments might seem scary, but we really do want it to be as comfortable as possible. Remember, both the dentist and the nurse are just regular people, working in a caring profession. We are here to look after you before, during, and after your treatment.