Anxiety over visiting the dentist is more common than you might think – between 50 and 80% of people report heightened levels of anxiety and stress surrounding a visit to the dentist – and 20% of people with anxiety don’t visit the dentist as a result. Anxiety and worry surrounding visits to the dentist and accessing treatment tend to be on a sliding scale – some people have quite low-level concerns which cause them worry before and during treatment, whereas others find it difficult to even attend the clinic. Often bad experiences or poor treatment, especially in childhood, may have contributed to the fear.
The issue with dental phobias and anxiety is that they can prevent patients from attending appointments altogether – with sometimes terrible consequences for their oral health.
Here at The Eram Clinic we have a dedicated patient care team who are on hand to help you and support you. Our dentists are trained and accredited in dental anxiety management so they can tailor their approach to minimise stress and alleviate anxiety.
Here we’ve shared some of our recommendations to help you prepare for and manage anxiety surrounding visits to the dentist.
Let us know
There’s absolutely no shame at all in feeling anxious about your visit to the dentist. Please let us know – what we can do to prepare for your visit and work with you to make it as comfortable as possible. This can include playing your favourite music or TV show during your visit, helping you to feel more at ease with the treatment through a more thorough explanation and consultation, or ensuring your favourite beverage is on hand when you arrive.
Develop and identify coping strategies
With anxiety so prevalent in today’s society there are now more techniques and strategies you can use to help you physically and mentally cope with the effects of dental anxiety. Everybody’s different, so naturally one approach may work for one person but not for another, and vice versa. We recommend looking into and trying out some relaxation techniques prior to your dental treatment that you can then put into practice during your visit. Some people like to use deep breathing techniques or essential oils to help them through their appointment.
Plan ahead for your visit at The Eram Clinic
In line with the above advice we recommend you prepare for your visit a couple of weeks in advance. Let our patient care team help you with this – they can provide you with tips, tools, information and advice ahead of your treatment. When you feel more in control of the situation and fully prepared, it will be less stressful. Wear comfortable clothing that doesn’t scratch or irritate you, and easy fitting shoes. Consider clearing your schedule after treatment to ensure you have some time to unwind.