Celebrating those who make a difference (Part III)

“I truly detest the dentist, yet I trust Dr Sefa”

Many of us experience at least some anxiety when visiting dentists. Over half of UK adults have a fear of the dentist and 12% suffer from an extreme dental anxiety.1 Regular visits to the dentist are a part of life, and therefore it seems strange that something essential to our good health should cause us such discomfort and anxiety.

Psychologically speaking there are two main reasons for this anxiety. For some, directly experiencing dental trauma of some kind can be the cause, this being more likely the cause if the perception of the dentist is already negative. Many have had painful experiences but not developed a fear as they perceived their dentist as warm and caring. For others it can be more indirect, by hearing of someone else’s experience, mass media perception or a perceived lack of control when in the dentist’s chair.

In either case, the perception we have of our dentist is one of the main contributing factors to our hesitation. The sad truth that horrible experiences make better anecdotes doesn’t help matters. What we need is reassurance that although it may be painful, lots of dentists are kind and compassionate people who just want the best for our dental health.

There are simple things that these dentists do to make us feel safe and comfortable in their hands. From friendly chatter to distract from what’s happening, to explaining and showing nervous patients what will happen and how it will feel. There is also something that everyone can do to help put nerves at ease. With more reviews of dentists, written by those who are nervous about going or not, we can be assured that the dentist we choose to see will be able to handle our anxiety.

Just as when reading reviews to buy a television, we should read reviews of our dentists both to make sure we pick a dentist best suited for us, but to also be assured that with many others having similar experiences, we can know what to expect. iWantGreatCare is delighted that dentists are a part of the transparent services that collect patient feedback. There are many reviews on the site that will assure those attending dentists that they have nothing to be concerned about.

"I suffer chronically with anxiety and truly detest the dentist yet I trust Dr Sefa and her lovely dental assistant. They reassure me in their lovely welcoming 'hello!' and also when I nervously flinch in discomfort- I'm even listened to general wittering on with a mouthful of clamps!
I enjoyed listening to an anecdotal history of Ghanaian naming of babies today whilst having a past filling replaced and I completely forgot I was at the dentist!
The surgery was packed yet Dr Sefa was forever her cheerful optimistic self!”
I love that she doesn't forget a face and thought I'd check this site out.
On seeing it was entirely her site felt it was incredibly important to give my feedback. For anyone who despises a visit to the dentist- you are in safe and loving hands here!

- Review of Sefaakor Ahiaku

"Whilst I was being treated by Aisha, I felt comfortable while she was treating me as she explained everything she was doing. She reassured me on everything and made sure I was okay at all times. She listened to everything I had to say and gave me every option possible to sort my problem. Would definitely recommend."
- Review of Dr Aisha Zaman

"Going to the dentist is not my favourite activity, but Rob is very calming. He takes the time to listen to your concerns and anxieties and makes the experience as pleasant as possible. He is a brilliant dentist."
- Review of Rob Morgan 

Looking at the reviews and leaving your own on iWantGreatCare can help in a peer-support manner. With 1,080 people finding dentist reviews helpful last year, iWGC is helping people find dentists and be reassured that they will receive excellent care, free from anxiety. With 4 million reviews published on the site, the number of dentist reviews needs to continue to grow, so that we can combat the anxiety that too many people feel when visiting the dentist.

Share your dental experiences and help others pick the dentist that will help them overcome their anxiety here. 


1.  http://www.nationalsmilemonth.org/facts-figures/