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22 January 2016

Helping you tackle dental fear

At our Surbiton dentist we have helped many patients overcome dental anxiety. We understand it is a common problem, so much so that a number of our team members have had extended training on how best to help a patient suffering with the problem.

Dental anxiety is extremely common and according to National Smile Month it ranks number 1 for causing people to be nervous, ahead of heights. According to the same research, almost 10 times as many people are scared of visiting the dentist compared to those who are scared of visiting their doctor. Basically, if you suffer from dental anxiety you are certainly not alone – this is a very common phobia which your Confidental dentist understands completely.

The issue with having this anxiety is it prevents you from getting vital dental care that you need. Even minor problems can turn into nasty, painful infections and conditions if they are left untreated. Mild gum disease which can usually be treated by hygienist services (and a good ongoing dental hygiene routine) can turn into advanced gum disease which causes tooth loss.

So a problem that a routine visit to us can cure, can turn into a condition needing general and cosmetic dentistry and much more invasive treatment in the end. It is so important to move past dental anxiety, and it can be done. Here are just a few things to consider:

Mild Dental Anxiety

With mild dental anxiety you might feel nervous or uncomfortable at the dentist, but not terrified. So you might be averse to going, but wouldn’t avoid it at all costs. Ways to combat mild dental anxiety are:

Talking To Us

Your friendly Surbiton dentist completely understands your fears and can help you overcome them. Talk to us about your feelings so we understand exactly what it is you are scared of so we can make your appointments as relaxed as possible, working around your needs.

Controlled Breathing And Mindfulness

This helps you relax and focus on the moment, not on what could happen or what might happen. Mastering this does take work but it can help you in a wide variety of situations, not just at the dentist. You can start to master this skill by simply focusing on breathing in for three and out for three. Alternatively there are many more detailed techniques you can look up by searching online.


As well as breathing and mindfulness, you could also look at other ways to make your appointment more relaxing, which you can discuss with us so we can help you. Having your favourite music playing during the appointment, talking to the nurse or actively distracting yourself can all work really well.

Severe Dental Anxiety

If you have tried all of the above techniques and think you have a phobia not a fear of the dentist, you have severe dental anxiety. Ways to help overcome severe dental anxiety are:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

This is a way to identify your negative feelings and help you find ways to cope with those feelings and thoughts with various techniques.


Various types of counselling can be used to help you talk about your feelings and help you emotionally overcome them. Often talk therapy is used in combination with cognitive behavioural therapy.


Sedation can be provided in certain cases. Sedation does not involve you being ‘put to sleep’ but rather helps promote a level of calm and relaxation within the body. If this is something you feel could help, specifically with a treatment you are scared about, we can discuss this with you.

Talk To Your Surbiton Dentist About Dental Anxiety

If you think you have dental anxiety, please call us on 02083991291 and we can discuss this with you. There are many ways we can help you overcome your fears and get the vital dental care you need.

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