As dentists we  love to tell patients with some degree of  pride that dentistry has moved on and improved over the last 20 years.  Truthfully this really has happened, but it occurred to me today that if you are afraid of the dentist  and  have one specific fear then unless you know what has improved then you will not feel a whole lot different about booking a  visit. What  I hope to do over this and future posts is give you some really practical examples of how things have moved on.

I hate the smell of the dentist – We now rarely use the materials that the used to give dental practices that really strong and characteristic  smell. Most modern alternatives are odour free. Even allowing for modern materials we still to some lengths to make sure that the practice generally does not have the old fashioned smell of the dentist. Fresh flowers,  essential oils and air purifiers all feature in the range of things that we have at our disposal to help keep the place smelling lovely. You will also be pleased to know that you won’t be subjected to some of the more lively aftershaves from the 70s either!

I am Scared of injections– this is another area of great progress. We have 3 main strategies;
1. We now use  surface anaesthetic gels to pre numb your gum, these are fantastic and really do help a lot
2. we use a very very slow and careful technique that makes most injections entirely pain free. I have a had a lot of dental treatment and was nearly 20 before I realised first hand that injections didn’t have to hurt. It really changed the way I feel about treatment which is lucky given all that I have had done inthe last 17 years.  ( so you can guess where my dental fears used to lie! )
3 modern equipment allows us to do all this in a much more comfortable way.

I hate the noise of the drill – although we have not yet perfected the silent drill and alternatives like lasers are yet to do everything that we need them to,  we can still do lots to help with this. We encourage  our patients to bring along  music that they find  relaxing to listen to  or better still you can try our B-Calm device which acts as an auditory anaesthetic blending  white noises with natural sounds to help create a relaxed state of mind.

These are just a few of the many things that we can do.  If you are scared of the dentist then the very best place to start with any new dentist is with a good conversation, it does not amtter whether this is  by e-mail, in person or telephone. Dentists who are interested in helping nervous patients will be happy to do this becasue it helps them to understand your fears better. And when we understand what your fears are we can start to develop a plan to help you redeuce your anxiety and start to feel better about your dental health.

Finally, why not make a start on  your dental fear today. It does not matter how small a step you take but  fears are overcome one step at a time so  whether  it is taking our Free 7 day Beat Your Dental Fear E-course or gathering a list of questions that you want to ask,  go for it….and if we can assist  in any way just get in touch and one of our Edinburgh Dentists will be happy to help.

Dr. Fraser Hendrie BDS (Glasg.) MFGDP (UK)

Fraser is a Glasgow graduate with over 20 years of experience. He is the one of the principal dentists at Craigentinny Dental Care in Edinburgh. He has a reputation for consistent, high quality work and a love of innovation. Many of Dr Hendrie’s patients travel from the far reaches of Scotland, the UK and beyond. So wherever you live from Portobello or around Edinburgh to further afield he will be pleased to meet you. He is a member of the Student Clinicians of the American Dental Association, British Dental Association, the Association of Dental Implantology, and has studied at the Pankey Institute in Miami on several occasions. Fraser has particular interests in Dental Implantology, Preventive dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry and information technology. Fraser has also been admitted to the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners by examination. Fraser is married with two young children and lives in Edinburgh. In his free time he enjoys running, cycling, and kite-surfing.