If you feel nervous about going to the dentist, you’re not alone! 1 in 6 adults and 1 in 10 children have dental-related anxiety, according to an Australian study.
Fear of the dentist can often cause you to delay dental visits or avoid them altogether. The long-term effects of this can go beyond pain, discomfort and tooth loss. Poor oral health can lead to gum disease and gum disease doesn’t end in your mouth. It can impact your general health and has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
Tips For Dealing With Dental-Related Anxiety
Our gentle team at Beaches Dental Mona Vale have a lot of experience caring for patients that suffer from dental-related anxieties. Here are some tips to help you conquer your fear of going to the dentist and achieve optimal oral health.
Find The Right Dentist
Finding the right dentist for you is the first major step in dealing with your dental anxiety. A friendly practice with dentists you can trust will have a positive impact on your dental visits.
Great word-of-mouth is always a good indicator of a dental practitioner worth considering. In today’s digital world, researching a dentist is easy as there is so much information available. Reviews are a good way of getting a feel for a dentist through other patients’ experiences.
It’s a good idea to call the dental practice you’re considering making an appointment at. This will help you get a feel for their environment and kind of service they provide. Sometimes, just having a chat with a friendly dental receptionist can work wonders in reducing your dental-related anxiety.
At Beaches Dental Mona Vale, our front desk team are more than happy to talk to you on the phone to answer your questions and ease your mind.
Know That You Have Options
Many patients who avoid dental visits do so due to the fear of needing to have teeth removed. In the past removing teeth was more common. There are also now options available to make this more comfortable if a tooth does need to come out.
You can rest easy though knowing that removing a patient’s tooth is a last resort. Advances in dentistry have given us more options when treating problem teeth – not all teeth will need to be removed, some may just need a filling or a crown. Implants have also become more commonplace and affordable as an option to replace missing teeth.
A great dentist will provide you with options. At our Mona Vale dental practice, we don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. In your initial consultation, your dentist will present you with a personalised treatment plan. This will include a range of options suited to your needs and lifestyle.
Our advice is personalised and evidence-based, but the final decision is always in your hands.
Talk to Your Dentist
Dentists deal with nervous patients a lot, it’s part of what they do. So, feel free to discuss your dental-related anxiety with your dentist. It helps them make you as comfortable as you can be.
At Beaches Dental Mona Vale, we understand and empathise with you. Let us know how you feel. We’ll be more than happy to tailor your dental visits to make them as stress-free for you as possible. Our dentists will ensure that you know what to expect and you are gently introduced to each part of any treatment you have.
Distractions and Relaxation Techniques
A great way of dealing with dental-anxiety is to distract yourself from your fears. One way to do this is by watching or listening to something whilst in the dentist chair. Evidence suggests that by focusing on this kind of stimuli, you can relieve yourself of some dental-related anxiety.
At our practice, we provide televisions in our treatment rooms. Our dentists are happy for you to use headphones to listen to your music during treatments where sounds may heighten your anxiety.
Another helpful tip is to try out breathing techniques and exercises. These can be very helpful in lowering your heart rate and reducing muscle tension. Practice controlled breathing consisting of deep, slow breaths in and out. You can do this in the waiting room and dentist chair to keep you relaxed.
Enquire About Sleep Dentistry
If you suffer from dental anxiety and need complex dental treatment, ask your dentist about sleep dentistry.
If you’re interested in sleep dentistry in Sydney, we can help you. Sleep dentistry involves IV sedation or a general anaesthetic. This allows you to experience dental treatment in a more relaxed sleep-like state.
Our experienced dentists can discuss sleep dentistry with you in your initial consultation. In most cases, the trust formed between our dentists and patients results in patients opting out of sleep dentistry in the long term. But you can rest assured knowing it’s always available to you as an option.
Practise Makes Perfect
As with most things in life, taking that first step is the hardest part. Usually, patients expect dental visits and treatments to be scarier than they are. Modern dentistry makes visiting the dentist something people could only have dreamed about a few decades ago.
Visiting your dentist and maintaining regular dental check-ups has many benefits. It allows you to build a relationship with your dentist and become familiar with the environment. This makes each dental visit an easier and less stressful occasion.
Having a dentist routinely check-up on your oral health also results in early detection of otherwise big issues. This can save you needing complex and expensive treatment in the future which can be especially daunting.
In a nutshell, maintaining good oral health with the support of a trusted dentist can mean less time in the dentist chair in the long run.
Many people suffer from dental-related anxiety. But the good news is, there is plenty you can do to relieve yourself of these fears of the dentist. The tips in this article are a great starting place.
Having a dentist you can trust is key. Our practice has many options available to allow us to provide you with dental care that is as comfortable as possible. Beaches Dental Mona Vale would love to provide you with the gentle dental care you deserve.
Contact our friendly team today to book a stress-free, easy initial consultation.