Many people have some kind of phobia about something they fear in life. For many people that fear is visiting the dentist. Usually it’s a bad experience visiting the Dentist early on in life that puts people off returning but there really is no need to feel scared any more. Things have changed since the old days. Techniques, materials and equipment have hugely improved making cosmetic and general dentistry painless.
For most nervous people, the decision to start searching for a dentist is not an easy one at all. It may take you many weeks, months or years. Even if you already have a dentist in mind – someone you have heard good things about – it can be very difficult to actually take the plunge and make an appointment.
How to Find the Right Dentist for you
There are caring, gentle dentists around who are good with very nervous people. The only problem is finding them…
Not all dentists have the personality or time or interest to work with people who are fearful. You’ll want someone who is interested in you as a person, rather than as just another set of teeth. They also need to have the necessary people skills. The need to be empathetic and sympathetic to your concerns.
It is important to know that there is no such thing as a dentist who is a “phobia expert”. Firstly, there is no dental phobia specialty. Secondly, personality is the most crucial variable. Some dentists are more empathetic for putting people at ease.
The best way of finding a dentist who’s good with people who are terrified of dentists is word-of-mouth. Which is a bit of a problem if you suffer with dental phobia, because you may be too embarrassed to ask around? Don’t be! You’d be surprised at how understanding most people are. Dental anxiety is extremely wide-spread, and you might even happen upon an ex-dental phobic who can recommend a dentist. Here are some people (and places) you can ask:
- Friends, colleagues, acquaintances or relatives whom you believe to be empathetic people. If asking around seems too scary or too embarrassing, you may be able to get someone else to do the asking around for you and see if someone in their circle of friends can recommend a dentist. You could also ask a friend to make some phone calls to dental practices/offices to ask around which dentists are good at treating nervous patients, or go around the actual dental practices to get more info. A good dentist should offer free consultations.
- Sometimes your GP or pharmacist maybe able to recommend a dentist.
- Internet forums for your local area. Regardless of what the group is about, you can ask for help in finding a dentist for someone who is extremely scared.
- Dentist Reviews and Recommendation on the internet such as Google or facebook and twitter are a good way of finding a dentist. If a number of people recommend the same dentist, then this is generally a very good sign! Be aware though that some reviews may be fake – if a number of reviewers have made their first and only post to leave a recommendation, then the reviews may have been “planted”.
Many dentists or dental practices nowadays have their own websites. You can find them directly via a Google search. When they are done well, they can be a great source of information.
Most of the time, you can get some very good clues from the website as to what the dentist’s or dental practice’s philosophy is:
- Do they state that they have an interest in treating nervous or anxious patients?
- Do they state how they help nervous patients? (a lot of websites state they offer sedation but don’t say how else they would help anxious patients – which means they might not be offering much beyond sedation)
- Do they offer what you want?
- Does the dentist / the dentists have photos of themselves? Do you like their looks (quite an important one this – despite beauty being only skin deep)? Do they look cheerful or serious or grumpy? Do they look genuine, or do they have a fake smile? Do you think you might like them if you met them in person?
- Words like “preventative dental care”, “family dental care”, “minimally invasive” and “gentle care” are usually good signs!
- Have they won any awards or been featured in any press?
- Do they offer the latest technologies?
- Check if the staff are registered with the GDC?
At Perfect Smile Spa our Dentists and team like to go that extra mile to ensure that all our patients are happy and relaxed whilst having Cosmetic, specialist or general Dentistry with us. From the first point of contact either on the phone or face to face we will try to relax you. Every little thing we do has you, the patient, in mind.
We try to relax you by:
- Burning essential oils to remove the typical ‘dental smell’ that everyone hates.
- Thoroughly explaining to you the treatment proposed and costs involved ensuring there is no confusion.
- Guaranteeing all the Dentistry you have with us will be completely pain free.
- Offering sedation to our patients who are still really nervous. This helps to relax you and makes us do the treatment quicker.
- Booking a little more time than usual for treatment allowing you to take small breaks throughout.
- Offering you a blanket and neck cushion during treatment for comfort.
- You are welcome to have a friend or family member present for reassurance during treatment.
Many people feel more comfortable asking the reception staff and nurses questions rather than the dentist. All our team are highly trained and extremely knowledgeable and can help you with your queries. We also have a state of the art Consultation Room. We hold all our consultations and treatment presentations here rather than in the surgery.
Perfect Smile Spa is situated in Hornchurch High Street, Essex. We are very empathetic to nervous patients and have a reputation for making everyone feel welcome and relaxed. Many comment they have never been to a practice like ours! See our reviews and testimonials