How to deal with dental anxiety?


Being ‘afraid of the dentist’ may mean different things to different people. The good news is that at Heath Street Dental our dentists understand their patients’ fears. They realise that kindness and gentleness can do a lot to make dental treatment an acceptable, normal part of life. Whilst most people can live with having some anxiety about going to the dentist, for some the thought of a dental visit is terrifying. An underlying fear of dental treatment can often stem from a previous bad experience and it might mean you’re reluctant to book in for regular check-ups or to have treatment.

Thousands of people all over the world suffer from some degree of dental phobia or anxiety, if you are one of them, here are a few tips and tricks to help you at your next dental appointment.

Firstly, let’s understand what dental anxiety is. Those with dental anxiety will have a sense of uneasiness when it’s time for their appointments. They’ll have exaggerated or unfounded worries or fears. People with dental anxiety often put off routine care for years or even decades. They’ll even put up with gum infections (periodontal disease), pain, or even broken and unsightly teeth just to avoid it.

There are many causes of dental anxiety. Many are afraid of experiencing pain during dental appointments. They have either had pain or discomfort during previous dental procedures or heard a negative dental story from their friends.  People may also feel ashamed or embarrassed to have a stranger looking inside and ask personal questions. This may be a problem if they’re self-conscious about how their teeth look.

At Heath Street Dental, our dentists and staff are experienced in treating nervous patients. From the moment you arrive at the practice, we’ll work together to provide the help you need to make your visit as easy-going and stress-free as possible.  It’s never too late to improve your oral health, and we have several ways we can help you overcome your anxiety.

Relaxation techniques:

We aim to give you the spa experience at your visit to Heath Street Dental. Our friendly staff love to greet you with welcoming smiles, offer warm herbal teas and play relaxing background music.
We’d be happy to give you a tour of the practice before you commit to treatment, to put you at ease and meet the team.

Distraction techniques:

Our friendly staff love to chat and get to know you a little. We have many strategies to help with the negative conversations you have with yourself that can cause anxiety to worsen.

During long appointments, we encourage to bring along a book to read or headphones.

Practical techniques:

If you are phobic about dental pain, about needles or about injection, our dentists can apply numbing gel to your gums before the injection. This helps to reduce the pain of the needle as it enters the tissue.

We can arrange for specialist referrals to have sedated treatment. You may find treatment easier if you have some form of sedation. Dental sedation doesn’t put you to sleep like a general anaesthetic but instead, puts you into a deeply relaxed state.

For more information, please feel free to contact us via email at or give us a call on 02078135000.