Frightened of the Dentist?
Very few people can actually say that they enjoy going to the dentist but for certain people fear of the dentist features significantly in their day-to-day lives. In fact, the prevalence of dental anxiety is surprisingly high. The 1988 UK Adult Dental Health Survey and other studies have concluded that as many as a 1/3rd of the UK adult population, with natural teeth, are dentally anxious.
Typical symptoms include the following:
- dry mouth, sweatiness, increased heart rate etc felt both on the day of the appointment and sometimes before. Severe cases may even experience similar symptoms at the thought of a dental visit or whilst telephoning the practice.
- being so exhausted after a dental appointment that you cannot carry on with normal everyday activities
- spending excessive amounts of time ruminating on what might happen at your dental appointment, including the possibility of catastrophic events
- a belief that other people perceive you as stupid, silly or weak because of your dental anxiety
- a feeling that people just do not understand the magnitude of your dental anxiety
- feeling that it would be better just to have all your teeth out rather than have to attend the dentist regularly
- feeling vulnerable whilst in the dental chair and fearing the loss of control
- experiencing vivid recollections of previous traumatic dental experiences
- an intense dislike and reaction to the sight and smell of the dental environment
- a fear of the vibration from the dental drill
- an expectation of pain
- fear of choking and / or gagging during treatment
- "blanking" out everybody and everything as a way of coping with the dental experience
- avoiding certain types of food to minimise dental discomfort or in an effort to avoid potential dental problems
- doing everything in your power to maintain good oral health and hygiene but not booking regular dental appointments
- dealing with dental pain by taking painkillers rather than booking a dental appointment
- cancelling dental treatment appointments when the pain subsides
- crying uncontrollably in the dental practice
- being particularly aggressive with the dental staff
- being unable to sleep the night before a dental appointment
- avoiding social occasions on the lead up to a dental appointment
- seeking emotional support from others in the lead up to a dental appointment
- being overly aware of everybody else's teeth
- being overly aware of your own teeth and worrying about your smile
- being unwilling to accompany anyone else, including children, to the dentist
If you recognise yourself as someone who experiences any of the above list of symptoms, then it may be a very long time since you last visited the dentist. We would like to assure you that the staff of Cedar Clinic will be very, very understanding of your feelings and anxieties. You can rest assured that we will listen very carefully to you and tailor your treatment so that it can be as stress and discomfort free as possible.
Dr Stephen Nicoll is a Dental Phobia Certified Dentist Click Here to verify.
We warmly invite all prospective patients, who are nervous or frightened at the thought of attending the dentist, to first make contact with a member of our Patient Care Coordinator Team. Their role is to offer anything from a friendly chat to full support and advocacy, depending on the individual patient's need.