A dentist from Liverpool has shared helpful tips for anxious patients preparing to go back to their practice after Covid closures.
Dr Salman Khan, a Dental Phobia certified dentist with over 20 years of experience, has shared advice to help those who are so nervous about going to the dentist that they actively avoid seeking advice even if they experience dental symptoms.
Dr Khan’s most important piece of advice is for patients to find a dentist who has expertise and advanced training in treating phobic and anxious patients and to choose clinics that have excellent customer reviews. Dr Khan, from Baycliff Dental Surgery in West Derby, has seen many patients who have been to numerous practices before visiting him because they didn’t feel comfortable or relaxed. The right environment and a friendly, approachable, compassionate team can make all the difference.
Another key message is for patients to try to be open and honest with dentists about their fears and any negative experiences in the past, which may have shaped their perceptions of dentists, dental clinics or treatments and therapies. Dr Khan chose to pursue a career in dentistry after having braces as a youngster. At the time, he was nervous because of historic attitudes and the assumption that dental treatment is painful, scary or uncomfortable. He made it his mission to show patients that going to the dentist can be a positive experience.
During the pandemic, it has been more difficult for patients to see a dentist on a regular basis, but Dr Khan urges nervous patients to try to take the first step and make an appointment, rather than putting off seeking advice. Even minor dental issues can develop into more complex problems, which are more difficult and expensive to treat. Keeping up with regular checks can help patients to adjust to new environments, build strong relationships with dental teams and get used to the sights, sounds and smells of the treatment room.