Nervous of the dentist ? You don’t have to brave, you just have to start the process and turn up.

Nervous of the dentist ? You don’t have to brave, you just have to start the process and turn up.

You don’t have to be brave if you’re nervous. You just need to turn up.

I have been listening to many stories in the last week from some of my more mature patients. As they have sat in the chair, watching a film of their choice, listing to music of their choice, a few patient have recounted tales of their past dental experience and some of what they said has really surprised me.

I grew up abroad and when I moved to the UK and begun dental school at Bristol university the first hints of what some patients thought about my chosen profession started to come though. There would be occasional phrases such as “no one likes to come here” or “how much is this going to hurt” became more and more common.

And when working a young budding dentist the stories got more frequent and more drastic- fillings without local anaesthetic, the black mask, knees on chests during extraction, being held down during treatment, excessive bleeding, pain pain and more pain, dentist not listening to a patient in pain.

Where I really saw the effects that this can have on people was when I worked in practice that offered sedation and was known as the practice to send all the dental phobics. One person I still think about is a young (23 at the time) lady who was so nervous that she cried in the writing room for her entire first appointment.

It took 3 appointments to get her to open her mouth and a further 2 before we could treat her under sedation.

The sedation allowed us to treat her and gave her a way to start this process that she knew she needed, but had put off for many years.

After a few visits under sedation, there was an amazing day when I asked if we could try a simple treatment without sedation and she reluctantly agreed.

I don’t think I have ever taken as long to fit a crown, but the investment of that time in her allowed her to envisage treatment without sedation.

I am not sure where she is now, I just hope that she still has the confidence to have pain-free treatment without sedation.

At Ten Dental we trained all our team members in sedation, and we offer this to nervous patients. Don’t wait until it gets that bad; you don’t need to be brave, turn up.

Whatever your issue, we are not here to judge, we are here to help.