• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is has a severe fear of the dentist or dental treatment. Please note that this is NOT a general dental problems or health anxiety forum! You can find a list of them here.

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Cheltenham, Gloucestershire



Super Moderator
Staff member
Mar 23, 2006
In My Dental Happy Place
Possible website of interest to anxious patients:
Website expresses a strong interest in helping people overcome dental fear. TLC (reassurance that modern treatment not as scary as you fear when performed with care i.e. comfortable injections) and/or sedation available. Website demonstrates good understanding of causes of dental fear and mentions often helping patients who have avoided for long periods.
I've just had a referral there for sedation following an aborted root canal because I was too 'twitchy' (dentist's description) causing the dentist to drop two files, one of which went close to my throat.

My first impressions of Arnica is that it feels quite corporate with lots of LED illuminated branding in the waiting room. There was no special treatment for dental phobics on arrival and I was just asked to sit in the waiting room with the other patients who passed through in what felt like quite a busy practice. There was a wall-mounted TV tuned to BBC1 and WiFi available but no obvious sign of the password. My appointment, a referral assessment, was running 20 minutes late but a member of the reception team came to tell me and was most apologetic.

I'd had a +2 hour drive to the practice and wanted to brush my teeth before the appointment. At every other surgery I've visited, there has always been a patient toilet with sink. Here there were two toilets on a landing but a shared communal sink outside an office. It didn't feel at all private which was surprising.

The surgery I was taken to was quite small but absolutely spotlessly clean with wet-room standard flooring for easy cleaning. No carpets in sight! Having visited on a warm day during the February 2019 heatwave and found the central heating switched on, it was quite stuffy - as was the entire building, but I was very pleased to see wall-mounted split-unit air conditioning which is something I always look for, particularly if attending a dentist in hot weather.

As for the dentist, I was referred to Guy Bailey who is the friendliest and most amenable dentist I have ever met with a very open manner. He's a good listener, understands patients' fears and phobias and seems to have a genuine interest in treating us. Before looking in my mouth, he scrubbed his hands with one of three wall-mounted hand cleaners and then washed his hands and applied gloves - I could see he has impressively high hygiene standards which was highly reassuring. Having been referred for IV sedation, I was also especially impressed to learn that he is also a qualified doctor and surgeon and I feel I should be in very safe hands with him. (I had IV sedation once previously at a 'High Street' dentist and felt I'd been over-dosed.)

I also felt he was very open re the likely success of my root canal (LR#7 molar) and whether I would be able to cope with the RCT under IV midazolam. The first of two appointments is in 2 weeks. It fills me with dread but I feel he is the best dentist for the job and I have every confidence in him, although not myself.