Are you afraid of visiting the dentist? If you are don’t worry you’re not the only one. In this blog post we’ll address some of the common fears people associate with dental appointments and how to address them.
Why am I afraid of the dentist?
There are many things that can contribute to being afraid of the dentist. There are a lot of factors in play when visiting a dentist. I often find that the trick is to pin point what exactly is the cause of your fear.
For example maybe the sounds and smells bring back memories of bad experiences from childhood, or the lingering thought that it may be a painful visit.
The good news is that you’re not alone, there is a large amount of Irish people who are afraid of the dentist, who come into my dental practice nervous, anxious and afraid of what’s to come from the appointment. So I’m well trained at this stage to assure you that you I will make your visit as painless as possible.
I’ve been scared of the dentist for a while – what is it like now?
It is perfectly natural to feel nervous about revisiting the dentist. But I will say that if you haven’t had a check-up in a while, there have been considerate improvements in dental technique that make modern dental treatment virtually painless
I haven’t been to the dentist in a long time – will I need a lot of treatment?
This all depends really on how well you’ve kept your teeth in the meantime. Each person will be different and the only way to tell is to have your teeth examined by a dentist.
How do I start?
With baby steps. It may be helpful to see the practice before you arrange an appointment. This way you’ll be able to get a feel for the practice and a sense if it’s the practice for you or not. Below are some pictures from our practice:
Our lovely staff
We would be happy to let you have a look around as a visitor before deciding if this is the dental practice for you. You can also take a virtual tour of the practice here on our website.
Our opening hours are:
Monday 9:00 am – 6:30 pm
Tuesday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Wednesday 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
Thursday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Friday 8:30 am – 6:00 pm
Our address is:
10 Main Street, Finglas, Dublin 11
And you can ring us on:
01 834 1140
What will happen at the first appointment?
The first appointment will be a chance for you to get a feel for me and my practice. It will also be an opportunity for me to conduct my routine check-up to see what condition your teeth are in, and possibly what treatment you may need. Then at the end of the appointment we can have a chat about what to expect next.
Should I tell the dental team that I am nervous?
Make sure that to inform us of your anxiety as we can take special measures to help you with your fear.
If you can tell us specifically what it is that you particularly dislike about dental treatment or even your general thoughts as to what may be causing your fear we will do all we can to help you overcome it.
I am afraid of injections – what can I do?
Don’t worry you’re not alone in this respect. Many people are scared of the local anaesthetic injection. Just be sure to tell me or one of the dental team that injections are something that bothers you. There are anaesthetic gels that can be applied to the area of the gum to be injected. This gel numbs the gum so that you cannot feel the needle!!
What is the best time of day to visit the dentist?
I would recommend whatever time of the day that you feel your best, especially a time when you do not have any commitments to worry about. In order to have a relaxed state of mind, I suggest allowing yourself plenty of time either side of the appointment. Also it is probably best for you to eat something before visiting as this will reduce the chances of you feeling faint while you’re in the chair.
Can I take a friend with me?
Sure you can, if you feel it will help you feel relaxed, your friend is welcome to come along. We even have a special chair for them to sit on.
Can I listen to music while being treated?
Yes of course you can. If listening to music helps you to relax we can certainly facilitate this. We have done it in the past! We have the radio playing in the dental practice (usually TodayFM) but we know that music is such an opinionated subject and nobody has the same taste so feel free to listen to your own music.
What else can I do to help me relax during treatment?
I often find a good mental distraction does the trick for the patient. If you try to solve a particularly difficult puzzle in your mind,
or perhaps some visualisation of sun soaked beach on an isle of your dreams,
or a physical challenge like trying to wiggle each toe in turn, without moving any of the others. Like in Kill Bill!
Can I ask the dentist to stop if I need to?
What I have done with nervous patients in the past is we have agreed a sign that means ‘stop now – I need a break’ before I start the treatment. If we didn’t get to agree upon a signal you can just raise your hand, and the treatment can be stopped for a few minutes until you are ready to start again. Knowing that you have control over your situation should allow you to feel more confident about it.
Can I go to sleep for treatment?
I would rarely utilise general anesthetics for routine treatments. We occasionally use sedation for patients but you will need to have someone to accompany you to the surgery and back home if you have been sedated. If you are in need of a general anesthetic, I would usually refer you to a hospital where the necessary safety equipment is available.
Will things get better with time?
As with many things, the first step is the hardest and once you begin to feel comfortable with the dental practice your fear will begin to lessen. In time you will gain control over your fears, and dental care can become a normal part of life.
What will it cost me?
You can view the prices of all our treatments here: link to pricing page http://www.duggandentist.com/prices/
Who can I talk to?
There are many organisations that help people suffering from phobias. Most of them also offer help to people nervous of the dentist because it is a very common problem.
You can see a list of numbers you can call here:
We also have relaxation CD’s with techniques for nervous patients to try before treatment.
After the check-up
It’s important to remember that there’s no rush and that you can go at your own pace. After your treatment, I will discuss your future dental care needs, and we can decide together what you feel you can cope with.
This may be no more than an examination with a dental mirror first. If you succeed with that, you may feel you could have your teeth polished next, possibly by a dental hygienist. Don’t be afraid to say when you have had enough – there is usually no reason to hurry through the dental treatment.
Begin to embrace your fears today by booking an appointment today –
01 834 1140
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