1. Consider your appointment time
Book it soon and book it early! Get it done and out of the
Booking an appointment later on in the day can often
increase the length and level of your anxiety. Everybody is different, however,
anticipating (dreading) something all day can be an awful feeling and only aids
a build up of anxiety.
2. Don’t worry about payments next appointments at
your treatment appointment
Get the payment out of the way too! Here at H. Williams and
Associates we always ask patients for a deposit to make an appointment because
we have found that it hugely decreases a patient’s chances of cancelling on us
at the last minute.
You can always call and pay the day before and make your
next appointments prior to your treatment. This will mean that you have nothing
else to deal with other than your planned treatment on the day. Less to worry
and think about should mean a lower anxiety level. You can simply walk in, have
your appointment and leave if you wish.
3. Eat as usual…
…If you can. Having treatment that you are anxious about on
an empty stomach is likely to deplete your energy levels rapidly and make you
feel unwell. We would never advise that your force yourself to eat but if you
can manage it, a small meal at your regular mealtime could help your energy
levels greatly. If you are unable to eat before treatment or you feel unwell
please make your dentist and/or their nurse aware before your treatment starts.
4. Relaxation techniques
There are many relaxation and deep breathing techniques out
there to help with anxiety. A popular and simple one is to breath in deeply
counting 1 to 5 and breath gently out counting 1 to 5 again. Repeat this and
focus on your breath. Deep breathing exercises are believed to have an accumulative
effect, delivering the most benefit if done regularly every day, rather than
just on the morning of your treatment. There is an array of techniques
available to try online.
5. Make sure you are comfortable
We don’t mind what your wear (within reason) for your dental
appointment. It may be an idea to make yourself as comfortable as you can if
you are feeling worried. Clothing that is not tight or hot will keep you cool
and more at ease. If sunglasses help you to cope with the environment then
please do. If you like a certain type of music, please ask and we will do our
6. Bring someone with you
Why not bring a loved one? You can bring a friend or family.
Someone to chat to, someone to help you take in any information. They could
bring you and take you home again after. Our nurses are also here to be a
friend and help you through treatment.
You are welcome to bring headphones if wanted to listen to
your own music or audiobook. Maybe you could bring a stress ball could give you
something to fidget with?
8. Sedatives or IV Sedation
Speak with your dentist or call reception if you feel your
anxiety is at a level where you want to consider medication to help. Both of
the above are available for patients at our practice if you need it. They are
conscious sedations meaning you will be able to move around and communicate,
they will make you feel very relaxed.
9. Professional psychological help
You may want to consider professional psychological help.
Our private GP, Dr Williams can make a private referral for you to a
psychologist following a consultation with him at our practice. This will
bypass the need to see a dentist at all. Or a dentist could refer you privately
or to the NHS dental phobia service. A psychologist is a trained professional
that will help you manage your anxiety over a specific period of time.
10. Let us know
Let us know how we can help. Speak with us, we have nurses,
receptionists, hygienists and dentist all available to have a chat with you
about anything you feel you may require.
We nearly always find that patients fear of
treatment is much worse than treatment itself. We aim to always give pain free
care. We will always stop if you need us to and we are happy to rebook if this
happens. We do not want to push any of our patients. We want you to feel looked
after and at ease.