Feeling some degree of anxiety before you visit the dentist is quite common, even amongst people who know they take care of their teeth properly. An estimated one in six adults and one in 10 children in Australia experience some level of dental fear or anxiety.
However, regular dental checkups and hygiene appointments are important for preventing and detecting any early signs of oral problems. We ask you to visit us regularly so we can check your teeth and gums carefully, spotting signs of tooth decay, gum disease, or other issues before they become more uncomfortable and serious. Preventative dentistry is the best way to avoid discomfort and ensure that if you do need treatment, it is less invasive, more cost-effective and quicker to complete.
If you feel anxious or nervous when coming to see us or have more substantial fears, here are some easy tips to help you overcome these feelings.
Talk to Us
Our entire dental team are very friendly and approachable and here to help you, and we understand that many people feel nervous before a dental appointment. Talking to us and letting us know your feelings can help us tailor your visit to be more comfortable and relaxing. We can discuss various ways to help you and work with you to overcome these feelings. Our dental team is kind, compassionate, and experienced in helping people with dental fears.
Arrange to Use Non-Verbal Signals during Treatment
We realise it isn’t easy to communicate while receiving dental care, so we can arrange to use non-verbal signals so you can stop treatment at any stage. For example, just raising your hand is enough to alert us that you need a break, and of course, we will check on you regularly during your visit. Many people find that having a prearranged hand signal helps significantly and ensures they feel in control of the situation.
Listen to Music
Our treatment rooms are very comfortable, and our dental team are experts at chatting to patients and helping them feel at ease. However, you may find it more relaxing to bring your own headphones so you can listen to music during your treatment.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
Before seeing our dentist try using some deep breathing exercises to help you feel relaxed and calm. Breathing steadily for a few minutes can help promote relaxation and lower your heart rate. You can find plenty of easy exercises to follow online. Plenty of relaxation exercises also help to relax your muscles, although these can take a bit more practice to use successfully.
If you feel very anxious about receiving dental care, ask us about dental sedation to help you feel more comfortable and relaxed. Modern dental sedation is very safe, and the degree of sedation can be adjusted to meet your needs. The mildest form of dental sedation is happy gas or Nitrous oxide and takes effect within just a few seconds. You will even be able to drive home afterwards. Deeper sedation, such as oral or intravenous sedation, is suitable for people requiring lengthier treatment or who experience a higher level of dental anxiety. Some are so relaxing that you might even fall asleep.