Understanding dental anxiety

If you have a fear of going to the dentist, you’re not alone. Dental anxiety is a recognised issue for many people, and one that we’re well used to coming across at Bupa Dental Care.

An underlying fear of dental treatment can often stem from a previous bad experience and it might mean you’re reluctant to book in for regular check-ups or to have treatment. But being a nervous patient shouldn’t get in the way of your dental health. It’s never too late to improve your oral health, and we have a number of ways we can help you overcome your anxiety.

We have dentists at many of our dental practices who are experienced in treating nervous patients. We’ll make sure that from the moment you arrive at the practice, we’ll provide the help you need to make your visit as easy-going and stress-free as possible.

Dental sedation

You may find treatment easier if you have some form of sedation. Dental sedation doesn’t put you to sleep like a general anaesthetic but instead, puts you into a deeply relaxed state. So you are still conscious and able to talk with your dentist. The most common forms of sedation are;

  • Intravenous (IV) sedation, where a sedative is injected into your vein.
  • Oral sedation, in which you breathe in a sedative gas through a mask that your dentist places over your nose and mouth.

Many Bupa Dental Care practices offer dental sedation, or can refer you to another Bupa Dental Care practice which does.

How to overcome your fear of the dentist

We have a number of options alongside sedation, to help you overcome your dental fear including:

  • Pain-free injections
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Making sure that teeth are completely free of feeling before starting treatment
  • Desensitisation to the noise of the drill (behaviour modification)
  • Techniques for distraction, such as bringing your own music or e-books
  • Strategies to help with the negative conversations you have with yourself that can cause anxiety to worsen
  • Specialist referrals for hypnotherapy treatment by a clinical psychologist if indicated, and our specialist oral surgeons can arrange general anaesthesia if necessary for extractions
  • A tour of the practice before you commit to treatment, to put you at ease and meet the team

If you are nervous about seeing the dentist, please contact your local Bupa Dental Care practice and tell the reception staff about your concerns; we have the tools and experience to help you overcome your anxiety. If you suffer with a severe phobia of the dentist, please contact a practice offering sedation.

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Bupa Dental Care is a trading name of Oasis Healthcare Limited. Registered in England and Wales number: 03257078. Registered office: Bupa Dental Care Vantage Office Park, Old Gloucester Road, Hambrook, Bristol, United Kingdom BS16 1GW.