One in four of us dread a visit to the dentist, but there are ways to overcome your anxiety. PLUS, Times have changed….! A Lot!

Being afraid of the dentist means different things to different people. Maybe it’s the thought that treatment will hurt. Or that the sounds and smells bring back memories of bad experiences as a child.

As modern Dentists, David and Stephanie understand their patients’ fears and worries. In fact it’s one of the main reasons David retrained to become a dentist! – because if his past experiences. Being Private dentists, we have the luxury of being able to afford you as much time as you need. Our aim is to make dental treatment as stress free as possible. You can minimise and eventually overcome your fears, and become a loyal and happy patient.

fear of the dentist

Some tips to ‘help’ with fear of the dentist..

If you are anxious, here are some tips and suggestions that may help:

  1. Visit us first to have a look around. Come and meet our Practice Manager Val, our Staff and see the place. Even if you just want to sit in the waiting room, have a coffee (or may we recommend Yorkshire Tea!) and read a magazine or have a chat.
  2. Let us KNOW that you’re anxious, and preferably why, so we can give you as much time as you need.
  3. Pick an appointment time early in the morning, so you have less time to dwell on it.
  4. The first appointment will simply be a check-up, there will be no treatment. Unless of course you’re in pain and want us to help!
  5. See this first visit as your chance to get to know us, and talk about your concerns. Beforehand, ask yourself WHY you fear the dentist, and discuss it with us. Email your worries before your appointment so you can think about it properly in a relaxed environment.
  6. You can of course bring a friend or family member with you to your appointment. (hopefully one that doesn’t fear ‘the dentist’!). We’re happy for them to come in surgery, with you – should you so wish.
  7. We can agree a sign or gesture to indicate that you need a break or want to stop. YOU are in charge, not us! It can be as simple as raising your hand, and will help you feel more in control.
  8. If you think it will help, start gradually with a say an exam and x-rays, then a clean and polish, and work up to more extensive treatment once you’ve built up trust and confidence with us.
  9. If sounds in surgery trigger your anxiety, by all means bring some music to listen to through earphones during your visit. It can help you relax and distract you. Although a radio is usually on (Radio 2 with David, Magic FM with Steph..!)
  10. Finally, and one of the most important things, but often the most difficult – is to try to not pass on your fears and anxiety to your children. Their experiences, will in all likelihood, be vastly different from your ones in the past, and ones that may have prevented you from attending regularly and cared for.


If however you’re EXTREMELY nervous, and find that you just can’t manage that step from exam to treatment under normal circumstances, we can refer for treatment under sedation, so that you may have less a fear of the dentist.

I.V. sedation is an option for treatment, and involves a tiny injection into your hand or arm so that sedative drugs can be administered. IV sedation is particularly useful if that bad memory is associated with gas and air, and having a mask over the nose. The IV drugs won’t send you to sleep – you’ll be drowsy and able to talk – but they’ll calm and relax you so deeply you probably won’t remember much of what happened.

Some people though find simple inhalation sedation very helpful to relax them for dental treatment. For those who know, this is a bit like gas and air given during childbirth, but instead of being delivered through a mask it comes through a nosepiece. We will soon be offering IV Sedation option at Orchard House Dental Care.