There is no reason to be embarrassed by your fear of the dentist. Many people around the world share this phobia. It should not keep you from getting proper dental care, which can have serious effects on your health and social life. Not going to the dentist regularly can lead to cavities, abscesses, broken or missing teeth, and bad breath. Some of these conditions could harm your social life or worse, your physical health, as infections that you might have not noticed could affect you.
At High Locks, we promise that you are in safe and gentle hands and will be in control at every step of the way. Here are some of the ways we help our nervous patients:
- If you are a new patient wanting to register with us we can offer you an informal visit to have a look around, meet the reception staff and dentist and see the environment. This visit also allows you to discuss with the team any fears you may have, allowing us then to work together to devise a care plan that will help you overcome these.
- We offer flexible appointment times that work around you. Often it is advisable for any nervous patient to select an appointment time early in the morning so they have less time to dwell on any fears.
- Quite often the first visit in the dental chair will simply be a check-up so don’t worry about having any treatment. This visit is your chance to get to know the dentist better and for them to explain any findings and discuss treatment options with you.
- We are more than happy for you to bring a friend or family member with you to your appointment. The dentist will not mind if they accompany you throughout the check-up or treatment. To help you relax through music we are even happy for you to bring your own headphones and music devices.
- We will always do everything at your pace and if during any treatment you feel you need a break or something is uncomfortable, all you need to do is raise your hand to alert the dentist and they will immediately stop, giving you the control and reassurance that you need at all times.
- We are happy for you to start gradually with treatments once you’ve built up trust and rapport with your dentist.
Believe it or not, the most common thing we hear at the end of treatment from anxious patients is, “Is that it?”. We know we’re doing our job right when it is our nervous patients who recommend us to their friends and family.
Frequently Asked Questions
One of the most common reasons for dental phobia is needle phobia. At High Locks we can administer anaesthetic gel (numbing gel) over the area prior to placing any anaesthetic which reduces the sensation of the needle. We are also happy to use distraction methods (listening to music etc.).
If you are extremely nervous, your dentist will discuss referral for treatment under sedation. Sedation is used to calm the nervous system of the body allowing you tolerate and accept treatment. Some people find simple inhalation sedation very helpful to relax them for dental treatment. This is a bit like gas and air given during childbirth, but instead of being delivered through a mask it comes through a nosepiece. You might also be given sedative tablets to take orally before your appointment. If you're extremely nervous you may prefer sedation through an injection into your hand or arm (intravenously) during treatment. The IV sedation does not send you to sleep and you will be awake and able to talk to the dentist but it will calm and relax you so deeply that you will most likely not remember the treatment.