Latest News

Combating your Fear of the Dentist

Posted on December 1, 2016



Combating Your Fear of the Dentist


We understand for many people a trip to the dentist can create a lot of stress and anxiety. From the smell to the sound of a dentist's office it can all add up to create a really unpleasant experience for some. However, avoiding the dentist over long periods of time will inevitably make the situation worse - for your teeth and your anxiety - so below we have suggested a number of helpful ways to put your mind at ease.



Advances in Dentistry


It’s important to remember that there have been many advances within dentistry and it might no longer be the same experience you remember from childhood. Equipment is no longer as loud or intimidating as it once was and the whole process is smoother and more bearable. The processes are also a lot more advanced, for example, numbing gel can be applied instead of the use of a needle.



Making Visits More Manageable


Ask around friends and family to recommend a dentist. They’ll be more understanding than you think about your fears if you sit down and discuss what it is in particular that makes you anxious about visits. That way they can tailor your treatment to make it much more manageable for you - whether that’s extra pain relief or building up your visits from a simple clean and polish. They can also help you feel more in control by working out a signal that you can do to show you need a pause from your check-up or treatment.


You might also like to try tactics such as putting in headphones during treatment or take a friend or family member into the appointment with you.



Meditation and Deep Breathing


As with many anxieties the effect of knowing you have a visit booked to the dentist, or even on entering the dentists, might mean you have a number of physical reactions. You might experience shallow breathing, sweaty palms, increased nervousness and irrational thinking. However there are methods to regulate your breathing and decrease the sense of panic you may feel.


Deep breathing is a great calming technique as it activates your body’s relaxation response. Try taking deep breaths, expanding your stomach, inhaling for 4 counts, holding for 4 counts and exhaling for 4 counts. You can also try using calming visualisation whereby you take 10 minutes to imagine you are elsewhere - there are great apps and youtube videos to help with this which you can find by simply searching ‘visualisation’.





If you try, or have already tried, these methods and still find dealing with a dentist appointment unbearable don’t despair. You might be a perfect candidate for sedation.


Depending on the specifics of your fear of the dentist there are a couple of sedation options to choose from. If it’s the pain of the treatment itself then IV sedation would work for you in order to completely sedate you throughout the process. If you’re looking to simply relax a little the ‘laughing gas’ will give you that feeling.


Another option Michael Kelly Dentistry is proud to offer is Quicksleeper. This fantastic, innovative system is perfect for those who would rather have a needle-free and pain-free experience. The local anaesthetic is delivered instantly, drop by drop directly to the spongy bone around the apex of the tooth. (Find out more about Quicksleeper at



We aim to make every patient feel comfortable, and are happy to help in any way we can to relieve anxiety about dentist visits. If you visit us sooner rather than later we can help to avoid any more serious tooth and gum problems that might occur otherwise.


We’re always happy to help so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.


Phone: 0141 637 1745