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Communication

The pillar of Communication covers several key areas of a successful and calm dental visit.

 

Practicing this pillar at home before going to the dentist means preparing what you will talk about. What questions do you have, what do you need to feel safe etc.? What are your boundaries in the dental setting?

Communicating with your dentist can be intimidating because there is a difference in the power dynamic as the dentist is an authority and they are often short on time. But know that your dentist truly has your best interest at heart. They want you to succeed!

 

Identifying what you need and would like during your appointments and then asking for it can be a big and empowering step to take.

Here are some skills I cover in this Pillar: 

  • How to communicate about your fear and anxiety 

  • Identifying and expressing likes and dislikes and your plan to use breathing exercises etc.

  • Making requests

  • How to be assertive from a place of calm

  • Asking for pain control as pain is one of the most frequent causes of fear

If we consider for a moment that fear of the dentist is most of the time actually created in relationship with a dentist from the past, this means that the fear can also be resolved in relationship with a dentist you trust in the here and now. It is in fact most often about a breech of boundaries that happened in the past during a dental experience - often when you were a child - and that means reestablishing those boundaries in the present is a huge step towards resolving your fear. 

 

It is one of my greatest passions to help fearful dental patients know that your dentist wants you to succeed and do well when you are in the dental chair! 

Some tips on finding the right dentist for you

 

I also include finding the right dentist in this pillar because having a dentist you feel comfortable with is so important. It means you can voice and fears, concerns and requests and they take you 100% seriously. 

  • Ask friends, family, colleagues for recommendations – perhaps the best and easiest way to find someone you can trust  

  • Google: you can search for dentist treating anxious patients, look at the reviews of dental practices on Google 

  • Read review of dentists on their practice’s web-site – and does their web-site say anything in particular about treating nervous patients? And do hey say HOW they help nervous patients – will give you a bit more of a sense of their level of expertise in this area 

  • If you email or phone a practice – you can ask – whether any of the dentists working there have a particular interest or skill in working with nervous patients  

  • You can read dentists’ bios and look at their interests or what type of training they have 

  • There are also many new technologies that may or may not be available near where you are – I’ll put some of the things to look out for in the resource section with this video 

  • You can also consider looking in nearby towns if you don’t find anyone that you would like to see near you 

  • NHS vs private in the UK – depending on your financial situation – opting for private may give you more options for working through your fear, equally, there are many highly skilled compassionate NHS dentists that will be willing to help you 

  • Who is your ideal dentist? Some qualities you can think of:  

  • Calm and soothing, gentle personality 

  • More laid back with a sense of humor 

  • Efficient, respectful – works faster  

  • Male – female?  

  • Someone more serious  

  • When you decide on one or several dentists to contact make a shortlist of surgeries or dentists you would like to contact  

  • You can ask to come in just for a chat 

  • Follow your gut instinct  

  • Email works as well as phone – but remember that it can be soothing to actually hear another person’s voice at the other end of the line  

More Tips and Tools for Communication and

How to Ask for Support Coming Soon!

Dentist Appointment