How to Overcome Anxiety About Going to the Dentist

Visiting the dentist in Tunbridge Wells is important for the maintenance of oral health and for the protection of a person’s general health. However, for some people, it is a source of anxiety. This may be due to the fact that they did not attend with any frequency as children or young people, or it may be caused by fear of discomfort and the unknown. This is a guide that explains why it is important to go for regular check-ups and how to combat any worries or concerns about doing so. 

The importance of regular check-ups 
Many people, especially those who are nervous patients, put off going to the dentist until they have developed a problem with their teeth or gums. However, going for a check-up every six months can prevent minor issues from developing into bigger problems. For example, the dentist can identify a cavity before the patient is even aware of it, and this means that the treatment involved will be minimal. This is an ideal outcome for the nervous patient who wishes to spend as little time in the chair as possible. Gum disease is another issue that can be easily resolved before it causes difficulties for the patient. The dentist can spot the beginnings of inflammation when the patient has not yet noticed it and can then take action to stop it in its tracks. If the patient does not attend for regular check-ups and gum disease goes unnoticed, then they can develop bad breath which has a negative affect on their confidence. If it is allowed to progress, gum disease can then result in tooth loss which would mean having treatment that is lengthy and intensive in order to restore the teeth and gums to good health and to be aesthetically pleasing. None of these outcomes are desirable for any patient, and even less so for the patient who is nervous about getting dental treatment. 

Book an early appointment 
Making an appointment for the beginning of the day can make attending for a check-up a little less daunting. If the patient has an early check-up with the dentist, then they have less time during the day to allow anxiety to build. This small change can make a significant difference to the experience of the nervous patient. 

Talk to the dentist 
It is important for everyone to find a dentist that they can trust, and this is of particular importance for those who feel worried about going for appointments. Patients should not be afraid to confess their fears and anxieties to the dentist as they will do everything possible to reassure them and help them to keep their concerns in perspective. 

Use visualisation 
Visualisation is a technique that can be used to minimise or even eliminate anxiety. It can take a few different forms, but one technique that can be used is to imagine visiting the dentist. The patient should take their time to picture the situation, and to imagine the check-up going smoothly and that they feel calm and relaxed during the appointment. The more details added in the visualisation, the more effective it can be.