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We know how daunting dental treatment can be. Our Dental Phobia certified experts are here to help ease your mind before treatment by answering your questions.

Despite having no obvious reason I have always been terrified of the dentist, what should I do?

dear Dr Nery, I have struggles with going to the dentist for as long as i can remember and have tried to think whether I have any particular reason for this and i cant think of one. I am trying to get to the bottom of my fear and have even sat down and had talk with my mum about it1 as to whether or not I had had anything done as a child ie: before I can remember. and apparently not as a child all I can gather is that everything went smoothly? the normal things like the noise of a drill don’t bother me. everytime i have been though the anxiety got worse- from not being there to being evident to now stopping me going. I really want to do something about it but don’t know how. is there first of all anything you would suggest and secondly what would you do to try and treat a patient like myself if i had just come to the surgery looking for help?

Thank you for getting in touch.

It sounds like you don’t have a dentist a the moment, so you will first need to find someone whom you feel comfortable with. This will involve taking a bit of time to talk through you feelings, as well as to have a look at your mouth and see what the situation is. Rememebr a dentist can not treat you without your consent, so you are in charge!

Once you have found someone you are comfortable with, they will be able to talk though how you might have a problems sorted out. For example, you might need to have sedation which settles you down, or look into other relaxation techniques or behavioural therapy techniques. You may want to see your General Doctor to discuss this also, so that if you need treatment you can be sure it will be possible to have it done without any problems. As your confidence grows you will find that the nerves fade, and you will be able to see the dentist without all this anxiety and worry.

So, first step is to find a dentist and talk your feelings though with them, then take it from there. Rest assured we do want to help you, and are trained to help anxious patients. We have to be trained because there are so many people just like you out there who need our help!

Very best wishes for 2012, have a great holiday.

Simon

Answer provided by: Dr Jennifer Pinder Retired
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