What to do if you hate the dentist? 

Our top tips to calm your nerves

Being nervous about visiting the dentist is very common.  Research shows up to 53% of UK residents fear attending dentist appointments. It is important to remember that you are not alone, and nervousness about your upcoming treatment is nothing to be ashamed of. 

Our team at Staina House value excellent customer service. We are on hand to provide you with the best dentist experience possible. Feel free to give us a call at 01995 605707 to discuss how we can best help support you at your next appointment. 

If you are worried about your next visit, please read our seven helpful tips on how to calm your nerves before the dentist.  

nervous patient
  1. Talk to us 

Finding a dentist who listens to you and understands how nerve-wracking attending an appointment can be is crucial to moving towards a calm dentist experience. 

Good communication is a core value for us at Staina House. We want to ensure you are fully informed and that any questions you have are answered before we begin the treatment.

We understand that dental appointments can cause unwanted anxiety. Please know we are always more than happy to discuss how we can help. Before your appointment, don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss how we can work together to put you at ease. Our team are here to support you in any way we can.

We always try to ensure you see the same dentist for each appointment, whenever possible, so you know what to expect. 

For new patients, we can offer a tour of Staina House so you can be familiar with your surroundings before visiting us for a treatment. Give us a call on 01995 605707 to arrange this. 

  1. Bring a companion 

Bringing someone you trust to accompany you to your appointment is a great way to help calm your nerves. You might like to ask a friend or family member to join you who can provide emotional support and encouragement.

Your companion is welcome to wait in our comfortable waiting room while you are in for treatment. However, if you’d like them to be in the surgery room with you, let us know, and we will make whatever arrangements we can. 

Our friendly nurses are also always available during the appointment for support. If you’d like to chat about topics unrelated to the dentist to provide a distraction, just let them know! 

  1. Agree on stop signals 

A common cause of fearing the dentist is worrying about a lack of control during treatment. We understand it can be daunting to feel you can’t tell the dentist to stop when you are uncomfortable. For this reason, we recommend discussing a signal with your dentist that tells them to pause the process. The signal could be as simple as raising your hand. 

Agreeing on this signal will allow you to feel more in control of the procedure and know the dentist is listening to you throughout. 

  1. Relaxation Techniques

It is helpful to employ relaxation techniques before and during your appointment to reduce the likelihood of a panic attack. 

Practice some simple breathing techniques before coming to the dental practice. A simple and effective exercise for regulating your breathing is breathing in for 5 seconds and then out for 5 seconds. 

Listening to calming music is another beneficial way to help you relax. Choose something gentle to listen to on your journey to Staina House. Please ask us if you’d like to listen to music in your headphones during the treatment you are coming in for. We will do what we can to make this possible.

Another helpful relaxation technique is visualisation. Closing your eyes and picturing a place you associate with peace and calm in your mind will help your body relax. You can also distract your brain by doing puzzles in your head or planning tasks you have to complete later in the day.

Our practice benefits from many surgery rooms having beautiful garden views through our large windows, giving you an ideal distraction to admire whilst we complete your treatment. 

  1. Preparing Well

Approaching the hours leading up to your appointment in a way that will help you feel the calmest when you arrive will help keep your nerves at bay. Avoid drinking coffee or consuming any other stimulants that may worsen your anxiety. 

When booking your appointment, we want to ensure the best time for you. If having your appointment first thing in the morning so you avoid dreading it all day is helpful, let our receptionists know, and they will do everything they can to accommodate you. 

We always try to keep waiting times to a minimum to reduce anxiety building. We have created a calm, welcoming environment for you to enjoy in our waiting room. 

  1. Reward Yourself 

Planning a treat for yourself after your appointment is a fantastic way to help reduce nerves. You’ve got something nice to look forward to after being brave! Arrange to meet a friend for coffee or plan a shopping trip to buy yourself a gift. 

Positive reinforcement will also make your next appointment feel much less daunting. 

  1. Counselling and Therapy 

If you are unsure that these tips will be enough to combat your nerves, you may be experiencing more severe anxiety or even dental phobia. 

The phobia of dental treatment is relatively common. A study by King’s College found that 1 in 10 adults in the UK struggle with it. The researchers involved with the study discovered that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) was extremely helpful in combatting the phobia. 93% of the dental-phobic patients were able to receive dental treatment with no need for sedation after 6-10 weeks of CBT. 

Counselling or therapy is an excellent option if you struggle with a dental phobia. CBT can change your experience for the better with lasting impact. 

About Staina House 

We are proud of our excellent service at Staina House Dental Practice. Our patient testimonials speak for themselves. Our patient Tim left us this feedback: 

“Was highly apprehensive of going to the dentist after years of neglect! A lot of work required, but David is very reassuring and calming whilst explaining very clearly what’s wrong and what needs doing. All sorted now – and most pleasingly of all, no longer a nervous patient! 100% recommend, and high praise too for all the other staff – nurses, hygienist and receptionists!” 

If you live in Garstang or the surrounding areas, we would love to hear from you. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly staff, who can answer any questions you may have. 

Our qualified team offer same-day emergency care wherever possible. 

Call us today on 01995 605707 or email reception@dentistgarstang.co.uk for more information on how we can help. 

T: 01995 605707