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Is dental phobia real?

There are plenty of ways to spend half an hour in the afternoon: have a quick lunch, catch up on a television show you missed, or visit your dentist for a routine check-up. We know that the latter may not be the most fun you’ll ever have in your life and we’re not (too) offended, but it is very necessary! While some people may find a dentist appointment not to be all that exciting, there are lots of patients who actively avoid the dentist because of dental phobia. When nervousness impacts our dental health and causes us to avoid the dentist altogether, then the problems begin to develop.

Dental phobia is very real, and nervous patients can really suffer when they don’t feel comfortable addressing their dental problems. It’s thought that 1 in 4 of us experience dental phobia, which is a lot of people missing out on essential dentistry. When you avoid the dentist, you avoid vital health checks that can detect warning signs, treat anything that may be developing, and inform you on how best ways to maintain your health at home. Without these essential check-ups and sharing this information, you could begin to suffer some serious dental maladies. Conditions that previously were preventable or treatable become hazardous enough to warrant potentially removing a tooth altogether.

When experiencing dental phobia, there are things you can do to make your first appointment at the dentist more pleasant and comfortable.

Here’s some advice on how to deal with dental phobia.

Don’t go it alone, bring a friend

If the dentist is daunting, then it can be pretty unsettling to come alone. If you aren’t already a patient of Harwood Dental Care, we know that meeting a new dentist and a new team of people can be pretty intimidating, especially when you’re already worried about your appointment. This is why we find it beneficial to bring a friend or family member along with you to the appointment. You’ll have a familiar face there with you to support you through your first dental check-up, and hopefully you’ll become familiar with ours’ too. They can even sit in the dentist’s room with you too, so you’ll be accompanied the whole way.

Don’t hold back, ask us any questions you have

At our Bolton dental practice, we welcome any and all questions. We know that you may feel like you’re wasting our time or bothering us with ‘too many’ questions, but we don’t believe in too many. Any amount of questions that allows you to feel informed and comfortable in our care is the right amount, so you can take as much time as you need to find your answers. We often find that nervous patients with dental phobia have built up their first appointment or any treatments in their head to make them into a huge mountain they couldn’t possibly climb. By answering your questions, we can shed light on any treatments or queries you’re worried about and reveal to you that they’re a lot simpler than originally thought.

Agree a stop signal with your dentist

Getting into the dentist’s chair when you have dental phobia can feel like a big step, and we completely appreciate this. If you’ve had a bad experience with a dentist before, embarking on a check-up can bring back unwanted feelings of panic. We’ll agree a stop signal with you before we begin any kind of examination, so you’re in control of your appointment. If at any point you want to take a break, all you need to do is raise your hand or instigate the stop signal and we’ll put it on pause.

Your first appointment is always a check-up

Your first appointment with us, as it is all for new patients regardless of their nervousness, is only ever us getting acquainted with your teeth and gums. We won’t carry out any surprise treatment, put you on the spot to commit to something that same day, or do anything more than just take a look. We perform a check-up to assess your mouth, note any areas of concern, and advise you with the information we’ve gathered. Dental phobia may lead you to assume that all appointments will involve scary tools and needles, but this is not the case. If any treatments are advisable, these will be carried out in a separate appointment and the option of safe dental sedation is offered to make treatment comfortable.

Dental phobia makes visiting the dentist difficult, but don’t miss out on essential dentistry if you can help it. At Harwood Dental Care in Bolton, we have special measures in place for nervous patients, so you can feel comfortable at our family-run practice. Call 01204 304568 or enquire online to arrange your first informal appointment today.

You can also find out more about options if you are a nervous dental patient in one of our other blogs.

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