Nervous about visiting the dentist? Here are some tips to help reduce anxiety

nervous about visiting the dentist

People feel nervous about visiting the dentist for a wide variety of reasons. Many of these are not severe enough to cause a panic attack, but most of them can make you put off visiting the dentist again and again. This isn’t always about fearing pain or needles, sometimes it can be as simple as feeling embarrassed or fearing judgement. Going to the dentist should never have you feeling this way.

Some fears and anxiety about visiting the dentist come about from previous bad experiences at the dentist, or stories you have heard from others. Other fears are general, not related to a specific experience. There are fears triggered by traumatic events, and these need to be handled with the utmost care.

You probably know this but biting the bullet and going to the dentist on a regular basis can help prevent the need for more invasive and stress inducing procedures. It makes perfect sense, but actually getting to the dentist is really difficult for some people. Regardless of where your nerves come from, we want to help make sure you are as comfortable with your visit at Butler Dental as possible. Here are our tips to help you deal with your big or little nerves.

General tips if you're nervous about visiting the dentist

The first step is to

Tell us about your worries

Speaking to your dentist about your fears is the first step in making sure your dentist can make your visit comfortable for you, and reduce as many triggers as they can. We want you to have a positive experience so sharing any fear you have (no matter how big or small) can help them make your visit a positive experience for you. Our friendly team are dedicated to your care in every way and will create a care plan specifically for you.
share your worries with the dentist
Find a dentist that

makes you feel comfortable

We have a brilliant team of dentists, all with their own areas of interest and a passion for establishing relationships with their patients. Each dentist is dedicated to the individual health of each person and making sure they get the care they need. It’s really important that you feel entirely comfortable and at ease with your dentist, so choosing someone that makes you feel at ease will help reduce your stress. You can learn more about each of our dentists by clicking on their names in our dropdown menu.

Schedule the appointment for

a time that suits you

It’s best to choose a time where you have the time you need. A time when you’re not worried about anything else and you don’t have time pressures. It would also be ideal to choose a time when you don’t have other pressures adding to your stress.
avoid too much sugar caffeine
Before your appointment, avoid ingesting too much

sugar or caffeine

It’s a good idea to avoid ingesting too much sugar or caffeine before your appointment to help you stay relaxed. These can enhance your anxiety and make you more irritable which may make it harder for you to relax.
Bring

music and headphones

You can listen to music in the waiting area, and sometimes during your procedure if it will help you. Discuss your needs and concerns with your dentist.

Bring an object

that you find calming

Having something familiar to hold or just with you can give you a sense of calm. This is not for everyone but can reduce stress for some people, particularly children.

Arrive on time and

not too early

Arriving too early can increase the anticipation for the appointment and simply gives you more time to dwell on it and worry about what might happen. It might also help to have a person waiting with you that can distract you a little bit.

arrive on time

Practice mindfulness

if you find yourself getting stressed

Focus on your breathing – slow controlled breathing patterns. Focus on relaxing each individual part of your body from your toes all the way up to your head.

hand signal break
Speak to your dentist about using a

hand signal

Before your treatment, we can agree on a hand signal for you to use when you need a break. If you feel uncomfortable at any time we would prefer to know so we can help put you at ease.

Request to be informed

about what’s happening during your appointment

Even if it’s a simple check-up, we can let you know what’s going on so you feel like you’re aware of everything. This can be useful for people who feel vulnerable in the chair and are uncomfortable having little awareness or control of what’s happening around them. We can talk you through everything to help comfort you and keep you aware of what’s happening.

Reward yourself

with a special activity after your appointment

Plan this in advance to give you something to look forward to. Having something positive to focus on after your appointment can help reduce your worries and fears.

Sleep and sedation dentistry

is available at Butler Dental

If you find that none of these strategies help you feel better about visiting the dentist we highly recommend seeing Dr Parul Bhatia who is our sedation specialist. Dr Parul is trained in sleep and sedation dentistry, and is very experienced in comforting patients suffering from fear and anxiety.

sleep dentistry

Additional tips to help a child who is nervous about visiting the dentist

Summing up

Finding a dentist who is dedicated to tailoring a care plan for you can really help if you’re nervous about visiting the dentist. Talking absolutely everything through with your dentist (even if you don’t think it’s worth mentioning), feeling comfortable with them and feeling like you can share with them when you’re not feeling ok, is paramount to Butler Dental’s values and mission statement. Our goal is to provide such exceptional care that you will not fear anything about dental treatment and will feel comfortable in our hands.

Please book online or contact us to discuss how we can help you.