Anxious or Nervous about Seeing a Dentist ? Surrey Dentist Explains

Dental anxiety is being nervous and anxious about visiting a dentist. Dental anxiety is quite common and have different stages and can effect people from all ages. It can become a barrier to have the dental treatment you need.

Dental anxiety can have different levels from mild nervousness to severe phobia. People who suffer from dental phobia might have fear of dentist needle, drill or having someone getting so close to them. They might have unpleasant childhood memories at the dentist.

Despite the reason people can overcome the fears through different methods and techniques.


Asking for help

The first thing to do it to contact a dentist and talk to him/her about your dental anxiety. At the time of booking explain to the team that you are an anxious patient so they can prepare and provide the support you need at the time you attend the appointment.

If you are not registered with a dentist or wish to find a dentist that is proven to have a track record of dealing with anxious patients ask recommendations from colleagues, friends or family; word of mouth is the best way as others might have had the same problems as you.

The first appointment with a dentist for an anxious patient tends to be more about meeting the dentist, talking about the anxiety and getting a feel of what type of support you can get. Some dentist might see you in a different room then the normal sugary room. A supporting dentist and the trust you develop in the dentist can reduce your anxiety.

The supports dentist can provided includes allowing you to have control over the timing of the sessions, control the amount of the treatment, allowing you to express your anxiety and talk about it. They are a number of options that help you relax and the dentist can explain them to you including the sedations.

If your dental phobia is severed and you can not even consider visiting a dentist you might ask help from your GP, they can recommend you to Cognitive behavioural Therapy.




The sedation helps you to relax and remove anxiety. If you opt for oral or intravenous sedation make sure you have an adult accompanying you. Sedation temporarily affects your co-ordination and reasoning skills, therefore avoid drinking, driving and operating any from of machinery, or even signing any important legal document for the next 24 hours after treatment. The three main types of sedations used in dentistry:

Oral sedation

Your dentist can prescribe you medicine such as Diazpam that can be taken one or two hours before the appointment or alternatively the night before.

Inhalation sedation

This is also called relative analgesia, laughing gas, or gas and air. This is a combination of nitrogen oxide (N2O) and oxygen (O2) that will be breathed through a mask that has been placed over you nose.

It has pain relief effect as well as majorly relaxing your body. It gives you happy sensation and slight light-headedness, while being conscious of what is going around and in control of your movements. It takes about 5 minutes to take effect and once the treatment finished and the gas is stopped it leaves your body within a few minutes. There are no after-effects like drowsiness.

Intravenous sedation

In this method of sedation small amount of drug is injected to a vein in the back of your hand. This makes you relax and takes away your anxieties. Although you are able to communicate with the dentist you will not remember anything the treatment afterwards.  

General anesthesia

General anesthesia is the last option, where no other method of anxiety management is applicable. It can be used in cases of severe dental phobia, young children, people with disabilities, and people with potentially life-threatening infections. This procedure will be carried out in hospital or special clinics. You will be put in total sleep and will not remember anything afterwards. You should arrange with a friend or a family member to take you back home from hospital. General anaesthesia will affect your coordination and reasoning skills.



Alternative Methods- Physiological Techniques


Consider distracting yourself from your dental treatment by listening to music through headphones, watching a DVD and exercising relaxation techniques.


Its using the power of suggestions put to you by your hypnotherapist to help you change your mental approach to situations. You will be awake and in total control despite common perception people have about hypnosis. Although hypnosis may help you relax, there is little scientific evidence that it can help with anxiety. Hypnotherapy can only be performed on patients by an experienced professional or behavioural therapist.

Cognitive Behavioural Theraphy (GBT)

Cognitive behavioural therapy can not remove the problem, but it’s a type of therapy that helps you to address the negative thoughts and ideas and approach them in a positive way. A behavioural therapist can show you ways of reducing your anxiety and fears of seeing a dentist.





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