How to Overcome Your Fear of The Dentist – Advice from Friendly Dentists in Oxfordshire ☺

fear of the dentist

Here at Kennett Road Dental in Oxfordshire, we are working hard to help hundreds of patients conquer their fears for better dental health.

If you suffer from dental anxiety, you are not alone.

The Oral Health Foundation found that almost half of adults in the UK have a fear of the dentist, with 12% suffering a severe phobia.

At Kennett Road Dental we have some patients who are so anxious about going to the dentist that they firstly have a couple of appointments to just talk about their dental problems.

The key to overcoming your fears is to firstly talk to your dentist about them. It may be comforting for you to know that no matter how anxious or scared you are of the dentist; we will have seen and treated a patient far more nervous than you. Even calling the dental practice may make you feel nervous but our friendly and welcoming team at Kennett Road Dental will be here to talk and support you through your dental journey.

Here are some common concerns about going to the dentist and strategies to subdue them:

  1. The worry that dental treatment will hurt

If you’re nervous about pain, let us know so that we can talk you through the different pain numbing and relief options for the treatment you are having.

  1. Bad experiences in the past

Many people think that dental treatment is painful and have associated smells and sounds with unpleasant memories from their past. However, dentistry has advanced so much in the past decade, it’s much more gentle and dental practices are far more relaxing and friendly.

If you have had bad experiences previously, explain your fears and concerns to your new dentist who will be understanding and supportive.

  1. Feelings of helplessness or loss of control

Being confined in a chair can provoke feelings similar to claustrophobia. If this is you, let your dentist know so that during the appointment you can raise your hand to take a break.

  1. Fear of judgement/embarrassment about your teeth 

Some patients may be worried about visiting the dentist because of judgment or they’re embarrassed about their teeth. Before your appointment you may wish to tell your dentist that you’re embarrassed about the state of your teeth – but you would like their help to fix them. This may make you feel more relaxed knowing that your dentist is aware of your anxieties and they will not be judging you.

Remember: Dental professionals at Kennett Road Dental want to help you improve your dental hygiene, we will NEVER be judging you!

  1. Anxiety about cost

If you are worried about the cost of your treatment, you can speak to our team about finance and monthly payment options to suit you.

Please get in contact with us today if you have any concerns about booking an appointment at Kennett Road Dental. We will always be happy to help and support you overcoming your fears of the dentist, no matter how big or small!

Are you damaging your teeth during your sleep?


It’s a well-known fact that our lifestyle can affect our teeth through consumption of sugary foods and drinks, smoking, not brushing or flossing etc.

However, not many people are aware that they may be damaging their teeth by jaw clenching and teeth grinding during their sleep. This is known as bruxism.

So, what are the causes of bruxism?

Stress is one of the most common causes of bruxism and can occur during the day when a person is placed in stressful situations, but it can also happen at night when we sleep.

Anxiety is another cause of bruxism when people teeth grind and clench their jaw but are unaware that they are doing so.

Substance abuse, sleep apnoea and issues with teeth alignment and bite are also factors which can contribute to bruxism.

What are the symptoms of bruxism?

If you wake up in the morning and your jaw feels tight or your mouth feel sore, this is a sign that you may have been clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth in your sleep.

If you share a bed with a partner, they may notice that you are grinding your teeth at night because of the sound it makes.

Long-term teeth grinding and jaw clenching can lead to earaches and headaches.

Another indication that someone may be suffering from bruxism is if they have uneven tooth wear, usually around the back molars.

What is the treatment for bruxism?

If you are showing any symptoms of bruxism, it’s important to visit your dentist. They will be able to examine your teeth and jaw for signs of grinding or clenching.

Once diagnosed with bruxism, your dentist will prescribe a mouth guard to help prevent your teeth from grinding whilst you sleep, and it will act as a barrier if you are clenching your jaw at night.

Using a mouth guard to help treat bruxism will also help you feel refreshed from your night’s sleep and prevent jaw pain or tightness.

How can my dentist prevent and fix missing teeth?

Statistically, the over-75’s are an age group who are most likely to experience tooth loss. However, it can actually affect people of all ages. It’s possible to lose your natural teeth through accident or injury as well as the most common tooth loss causes which are gum disease and tooth decay.

If you’ve knocked your tooth out in an accident, store it in a glass of water and get an emergency appointment with a dentist the same day. In many cases your dentist will be able to re-implant your natural tooth back into its socket.

To avoid losing your natural teeth through gum disease and tooth decay, having a consistent dental hygiene routine and visiting your dentist at least every 6 months will help you retain your natural teeth for much longer.

If you are concerned that you have already started experiencing some tooth loss, at Kennett Dental we can help replace your missing teeth using dentures and dental bridges.

Kennett Dental offer modern dentures which are made of acrylic or a combination of acrylic and metal. We offer partial dentures for patients who only have a few missing teeth and we provide complete dentures when all-natural teeth are missing.

If a patient is missing only one or two teeth, a bridge is often the preferred option. They consist of an artificial porcelain crown anchored on either side by natural teeth that have had crowns placed on them as well. At Kennett Dental we offer aesthetic bridges which are made with a ceramic material which look just like natural teeth.

It’s so important to maintain your regular check-ups with your dentist in Oxford to prevent tooth loss. Even mildly damaged teeth can allow bacteria to enter which can lead to infection, abscesses and eventually tooth loss if left untreated.

To see a dentist at Kennett Road Dental in Oxford, give our friendly team a call on 01865 761965

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