If you’re anxious about visiting the dentist, you’re not alone. Almost 50% of UK adults claim to experience some sort of dental anxiety or fear, with 12% suffering from an extreme phobia of the dentist.

Many people feel anxious about visiting the dentist, but with a bit of advice and support you can conquer your fear.

Join us as we explore four popular myths about visiting the dentist and discover some of the ways to overcome your dental anxiety.


Popular Myths about the Dentist

Let’s look at some of the popular myths about visiting the dentist:


Myth 1: Local Anaesthesia is Extremely Painful

If you’re afraid of injections be sure to tell your dentist and they can apply an anaesthetic gel to the gum before the injection. When it’s first administered you may feel a tingling sensation or slight discomfort but within just a few short minutes the area will be numb.

A local anaesthetic numbs the nerves that signal pain to your brain. So, the most you’ll feel is movement and pressure being applied on the anaesthetised area.


Myth 2: You don’t need to visit the dentist because you’re not in pain

Many people use this excuse to avoid making a dental appointment. You might think that because your teeth or gums aren’t causing you any pain, everything’s fine.

However, most dental experts recommend regular check-ups to make sure there aren’t any underlying problems or trouble areas that might develop into bigger problems later down the line.


Myth 3: You have no control once you’re in the dentist’s chair

Dental practitioners are well aware that visiting the dentist causes many patients to feel nervous or anxious. The good news is that more and more dentists now understand their patient’s fears.

Most dentists make their surgeries welcoming and non-threatening environments, and are trained to make you feel as comfortable as possible while you’re in their chair.

So you feel more in control of the situation, agree a hand signal or gesture with the dentist beforehand to indicate if you need to stop or take a break. Don’t be shy about letting your dentist know if you’re feeling anxious.


How to deal with dental anxiety

To help cope with dental anxiety, consider the following advice:

  • Visit the dental surgery before the date of your appointment with someone who isn’t anxious about the dentist to reassure yourself.
  • Take a friend or a family member to your appointment to make you feel more comfortable or to distract you while you wait.
  • Remind yourself that modern dentistry is very safe and pain-free. Pick an early appointment slot so you don’t have to dwell on a visit to the dentist.
  • Try relaxation techniques like slow breathing or meditation to keep yourself calm.


Overcome your fear of the dentist

Going for regular check-ups is the best way to know if your teeth and gums are healthy and nip any potential problems in the bud.

To learn more about keeping your teeth healthy, do your bit to spread the message about oral hygiene for World Oral Health Day on March 20th 2020.

Find more useful tips, tricks and advice on keeping your mind and body healthy on our blog page or speak to a Cigna representative to learn more about member benefits.