COPING WITH DENTAL PHOBIA
Nicola Taaffe @West Grove - Patients Share Their Own Coping Techniques
We have many patients who have visit us for dental treatment and have avoided the dentist for years or even decades! Patients have experienced varying degrees of Dental Phobia or Dental Anxiety.
We have put together our patients personal hints and tips. Sharing their ideas, we hope you'll find a way that works for you to help reduce the stress and anxiety you experience.
The First Phone Call!
This can be the worst part for some people. Making the first phone call .
Pick up the phone and simply chat to the team on reception. Explain the fear you are experiencing. You don't even need to make an appointment, just talk. If you feel we are the right team for you, call back later and make an appointment.
Telling friends or family you want to book an appointment means they can help with the first phone call to the practice and making the appointment - they can start the conversation and you can take over.
Some patients have found it easier not to tell friends or family they're planning on making an appointment because they don't want to be asked any questions, and reminded, of the upcoming visit.
The First Appointment!
Visiting the practice beforehand can help reduce stress. The familiarity of the environment and the route you'll take can reduce anxiety.
When you're feeling anxious feeling maybe intensified the closer to your appointment time, you may not think clearly. Minimise your stress, go through a practice run to the surgery:
TRAVELLING BY BUS go through the route, know the stops, and the route you'll take from the bus stop to the building. Note down the full duration so on the day you aren't running for the bus and trying to find the practice. Causing added stress.
DRIVING THE CAR know the route, depending on your appointment time, you may need to give yourself extra time for rush hour. Paid street parking is available, so check out where the machines are and the payment required.
BEING DROPPED OFF confirm with your family or friend what you want them to do. Will they attend the appointment? Wait in the car? Make clear their job so on the day they are aware what you want them to do. Make sure they know the route. Make them aware how you might be feeling on the day. These conversations before hand can help relax you on the day as everyone knows what they have to do!
NEED ASSISTANCE on the day, telephone before hand and we'll make sure we have a team member to help you with the 3 steps outside the practice. If you're unable to climb stairs we'll ensure your appointment is on the ground floor
Reward yourself - go for lunch or buy yourself something, you deserve it
Relax for the rest of the day - after you're experience you might feel exhausted post-appointment.
Find out more about Principal Dentist Nicola Taaffe
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