Do you have a significant fear of the dentist?

Our answers to questions asked by nervous dental patients at Arthur House Dental Care in Sutton Coldfield.

There is no shame in feeling afraid when your dental appointment is just around the corner. In fact, you are in good company as it is estimated that around a third of the population in the UK experience some anxiety about visiting the dentist.

It may even surprise you to know that some dentists also experience a degree of anxiety about their own dental visits; this despite knowing and understanding the procedures and the effects of the anaesthetic too!

One theory, which seems logical, is that one of the main causes of our anxiety comes because the procedures are performed so close to the parts of the body where our sense receptors are located; i.e. eyes, nose, ears etc and therefore everything that happens seems to be magnified. Perhaps if our teeth were in our feet we would not be quite so concerned!

The fact is though, that some people do experience quite severe anxiety regarding dental visits, so we thought that it might be useful to look at two of the most commonly asked questions regarding dentistry for dental phobics.

Will it hurt?

Unsurprisingly, this is the most commonly asked question of the dentists at our Sutton Coldfield and Birmingham dentists. The problem in answering though, comes because ‘pain’ affects different people in different ways and to different degrees.

In the case of invasive procedures such as a tooth extraction or the placement of a dental implant, it is feasible that a small degree degree of discomfort may be experienced. The level of this though is more likely to be about the perception of pain by each individual. Due to the use of modern anaesthetics, there should be no major pain as such and indeed, we will do all that we can to re-assure nervous patients of this during the procedure.

Do you have to use the drill?

The drill seems to have obtained a bad reputation but is still one of the most widely used pieces of dental equipment due to its flexibility. It can be used not only for filling a tooth but also for preparing a tooth to receive a dental crown amongst other things.

From research, it appears that the biggest issue with the drill is the sound that it makes. Some patients have found that bringing an mp3 player helps to mask the sound and, given the right music, can also help them to relax.

An alternative

Whilst we encourage our patients to relax and allow us to do our work to keep their teeth in good shape, we acknowledge that, for some people, the level of anxiety is so severe that this is simply not possible.

Rather than submit these people to a life of poor oral health though, there is an alternative that we offer at Arthur House Dental Care, through the use of sedation dentistry.

Administered by our anesthetist, sedation allows the patient to fully relax whilst remaining conscious. This is important as we may need to talk to the patient during the procedure to ensure its effectiveness.

It is often said by patients that have used sedation that time simply flew by and a procedure that actually took half an hour was thought to have lasted just minutes. By using sedation, even the most nervous dental patient can have the dental treatment that is needed to keep their teeth in good condition.


There is just one word of caution regarding the use of dental sedation and that is the effects may last for some time afterwards and it is therefore important that you bring someone with you who is able to take you home afterwards. Even the use of public transport following sedation may be difficult and driving is an absolute “no no” for your safety and others too.

If you suffer from any form of dental fear and would like to talk to experienced dental phobia dentists about the options available to you, please call the practice on 0121 323 4492.