Nearly one-third of adults do not like visiting the dentist and one-tenth of us have a phobia so strong that trips to the dentist are completely avoided.

Dental phobia (odontophobia) is a very common condition, affecting a huge number of people; however, dental hygiene is vital for our health, which is why these fears need to be tackled.

Talk to your Dentist

As it is such a common problem, your dentist will have seen this anxiety on a regular basis. Talk to them about your fears and worries, which will enable them to put you at ease and help you to feel relaxed and comfortable with what they are doing.

Breathing Exercises

Whether you are having incognito braces in London or need a filling, controlled breathing is a must for helping you to relax and focus your mind on other things. Try breathing in for three seconds and then exhaling for three seconds – this will preoccupy your mind and also help to reduce your anxiety and keep you calm.

Relaxation Techniques

Simple things that can help to relax you during a dental appointment with practices such as uksmile include listening to your favourite music or asking your dentist to put on your chosen radio station; alternatively, you could just ask the nurse to chat to you about something. This relaxation technique will depend entirely upon what works for you. Don’t be afraid to ask for something that you know will help to keep you calm during the procedure.

Severe Dental Anxiety

If your phobia is severe and you don’t feel the above will work, there are many counselling programmes available that can help to tackle this problem. These programmes are free on the NHS for those with a psychological phobia – contact your dentist for more advice.

There are also sedation options for some people, although this is not a preferred treatment option. The simplest technique is oral sedation, which involves taking a tablet that will keep you awake but will make you feel drowsy and much more relaxed. There is also intravenous sedation, which works in the same way but is a stronger method and may mean you won’t remember anything afterwards.

There are a number of options available, so always speak to your dentist.