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22 / 04 / 2024

From fear to cheer: Transforming dental anxiety

At Lighthouse Dental Practice, helping our patients overcome dental fears plays a significant role in providing compassionate care. There are many strategies that we teach patients to help address and eventually overcome dental anxieties, which we will discuss in today’s article.

The five Es to help alleviate your fear

Encouraging our patients to openly express fears or concerns is crucial. In creating a safe and non-judgmental environment, it is easier to feel more comfortable about sharing apprehensions. Once your fears are voiced, we can work together to develop personalised strategies for managing your dental anxiety. Every patient is different, and Dr Tocca and the team make it our priority to make sure that you feel comfortable during your journey at our practice with our friendly and professional team. By building a trusting relationship and having a mutual understanding of your fears, we make it our promise to help you overcome your concerns and worries.

from fear to cheer

Empathising with patients and acknowledging the validity of your fears fosters trust and builds a good rapport. Taking the time to listen to your experiences and demonstrating understanding goes a long way in easing anxieties. Surveys carried out by Dental Phobia in 2018 have revealed that up to 53% of the UK population fear visiting a dentist. Moreover, 17% of the population have such a phobia of dentistry that they refuse to visit or get essential dental work carried out. It is important to know that you are not alone in your dental anxieties, and we deal with patients daily who experience fears of the dentist. We will always approach your situation with empathy, validate your feelings, and assure you that we will only ever proceed at your pace. By taking small and steady steps to gradually increase your exposure to dental procedures, we aim to increase your confidence and overcome your fears.

Education is empowerment. Educating you about dental procedures and addressing misconceptions can help to clarify your experience and reduce anxiety. Providing detailed explanations, demonstrating useful tools and techniques, and offering informative resources allows you to feel more in control of your oral health journey. Our dedicated team will always take all the time you need to ensure you feel fully informed and comfortable about the options available to you. Our Dental Treatment Coordinators, Hannah Waller and Jane Feagan, will regularly check in with you throughout your course of treatment and beyond to ensure that you are feeling comfortable with the service you are receiving. In addition, we provide educational materials such as written information to help alleviate your fears through knowledge and understanding from the comfort of your own home, and our team are always at the other end of the phone should you have any questions whilst not on our premises.

from fear to cheer

Ensuring relaxation techniques are adopted is a crucial aspect of being able to perform dental procedures whilst you feel comfortable. There are many techniques that we can advise on such as breathing exercises, visualisation techniques and guided imagery to help you manage your anxiety levels. Another extremely useful technique for fearful patients is bringing earphones along to your appointment and listening to relaxing music or podcasts throughout your time in the dental chair. Many of our patients have also felt the benefit of seeing a hypnotherapist to work on minimising dental fear. We understand that many patients find it challenging to remain calm during appointments, and we pride ourselves on our understanding of such feelings. It is our goal to help alleviate your fears and approach dental visits with ease. Our dentists, Dr Tocca, Dr Margariti, and Dr Ranson, all work with anxious patients daily and are well-equipped to understand each individual’s needs. From the first call with our reception team, Jasmine Orriss and Hannah Taghdi, through to more complex discussions with our knowledgeable treatment coordinators, Hannah Waller and Jane Feagan, and then paying visits to our clinicians, you will be made to feel confident in our services every step of the way.

from fear to cheer 3

Easing fear using sedation for patients with extreme dental phobias or undergoing extensive dental procedures offers a valuable option for comfort and relaxation. At Lighthouse Dental Practice, your assigned dentist will assess your individual case and can offer oral sedation, gas and air, or intravenous sedation for procedures. For intravenous sedation, we work closely with a specialist medical anaesthetist so that you get the best service during your time with our team. Following a careful assessment, together we can choose the method that best suits your needs.

Concluding thoughts

In conclusion, helping patients overcome their fears surrounding dentistry requires both a personalised and compassionate approach to their patient journey that focuses on individual clinical needs and concerns. By adopting open communication, providing education, demonstrating an understanding of worries and fears, introducing relaxation techniques, and offering options for sedation where necessary, our team can empower patients to face and overcome their anxieties and receive the care they deserve. By offering supportive and empathetic interactions, our dental professionals can create an environment where our patients feel empowered, respected, and valued in their oral health journey. We aim to inspire people to prioritise their dental well-being and work towards making dental visits a positive and stress-free experience. With us, you no longer have to fear dentistry.

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“Hygienist, Angela sets you at ease from the moment you walk in the door. She is not only really thorough but also very caring and explains what she is doing throughout the ...“

Jenny

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“Wow! The service I received from Jane was absolutely fantastic; she went above and beyond to assist me so that I wasn't left out of pocket. I wish everyone had a person lik...“

Dee D

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“I am 70 years of age, and I have always been afraid to go to the dentist. A broken tooth and my wife threatening to leave me if I did not get it replaced soon made me find a ...“

Earlmain L

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“I booked an emergency treatment appointment, having had a tooth for a few days and was unable to get an appointment with my regular practice. I have to say the service was am...“

Ginette S

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“As a nervous patient, I was very worried about having my tooth removed. I was instantly put at ease by the reception staff and the dental team. They regularly stopped to check...“

Susannah B

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“Having not been to a dentist in over 25 years, I was a bag of nerves when I arrived, but I must admit Dr Tocca was very professional and explained everything as he was going t...“

Nick K

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stars 1

“Hygienist, Angela sets you at ease from the moment you walk ...“

Jenny

stars 1

“Wow! The service I received from Jane was absolutely fantast...“

Dee D

stars 1

“I am 70 years of age, and I have always been afraid to go to...“

Earlmain L

stars 1

“I booked an emergency treatment appointment, having had a to...“

Ginette S

stars 1

“As a nervous patient, I was very worried about having my too...“

Susannah B

stars 1

“Having not been to a dentist in over 25 years, I was a bag o...“

Nick K

View All Testimonials Leave Us A Review
lighthouse icon
stars 1

“Hygienist, Angela sets you at ease from the moment you walk in the door. She is not onl...“

Jenny

stars 1

“Wow! The service I received from Jane was absolutely fantastic; she went above and beyond ...“

Dee D

stars 1

“I am 70 years of age, and I have always been afraid to go to the dentist. A broken tooth ...“

Earlmain L

stars 1

“I booked an emergency treatment appointment, having had a tooth for a few days and was una...“

Ginette S

stars 1

“As a nervous patient, I was very worried about having my tooth removed. I was instantly pu...“

Susannah B

stars 1

“Having not been to a dentist in over 25 years, I was a bag of nerves when I arrived, but I...“

Nick K

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