How to make dentist appointments less awful


I hate going to the dentist and for a long time just avoided it all together. I have had some bad experiences at the dentist, including one where the dentist got mad at me because I kept flinching. She kept causing me pain! What did she expect?!

However, eventually I realised I did need to go and get a check up and there are a couple of things I did to try and lessen the anxiety for myself. I looked around for local dentists who specifically said they were good at helping people who felt anxious. And then I cross checked that against the NHS reviews for that dentist’s surgery so I could check that other people also found them good.

I had to call and make an appointment (which is annoying). And when I did I specifically said I felt really anxious about going to the dentist and could they recommend one of their dentists who was good with anxious people. And that’s how I got my dentist! Quite often I find dentists surgery’s want you to ring up and make an appointment. You might get away with emailing them if you say something like ‘can you give me the first available slot you have on a Friday after 1400’.

I’ve had two treatments recently at the dentist. And they were not fun. I tried to use breathing techniques to calm down (with limited success). The dentist had the radio playing, which I liked. But I would have liked it even more if I could have listened to my music or my podcast and I’m never quite sure if its okay to wear earphones while at the dentist. The other thing that occurred to me was that I could have brought a bluetooth speaker and just played my music over a phone - if that’s the thing that helps me be more comfortable.

Does anyone else struggle with going to the dentist? Or has found other ways to deal with it?


The best dentist I ever had stuck a map of the world on the ceiling so you could look at it. I was completely distracted by thinking about the geography of the world.


I also find it completely bizarre that my current dentist keeps trying to do me without anesthetic. He’s never gotten at all far without me jerking in the seat and saying OW. Always go with anesthetic, I think.


Yes to anaesthetic! Though I had forgotten about the whole completely numb face thing which came as a surprise to me after I had finished.