Does the thought of going to the dentist make your palms sweat and your heart race? Dental anxiety affects approximately 20% of individuals in Australia.
For some, dental anxiety is so bad that they neglect to see their dentist when they should, or they stop going completely, seriously harming their oral health.
Teeth fracture, loosen and even fall out of the jaw when small dental problems are allowed to worsen into destructive issues. Facial aesthetics are impacted when oral health deteriorates, leading to gum infections, tooth loss, and jaw bone recession. Studies show a link between poor oral health and systemic health issues such as diabetes, stroke and osteoporosis.
With all of this health at risk, it is vital that you regularly visit your Glen Waverley dentist, regardless of any fears you have.
In this post, we will explore some of the causes of dental anxiety as well as ways you can overcome it and achieve optimal dental health.
What Causes Dental Phobia and Anxiety?
There are many reasons why some people have dental phobia and anxiety. Some of the common reasons include:
- Fear of pain. Fear of pain may be the most common reason for staying out of a dental office. This fear usually stems from an unpleasant early dental experience or from dental “horror” stories told by others or seen in the media. Thanks to the many advances in dentistry made over the years, most of today’s dental procedures are considerably less painful or even pain-free.
- Fear of injections or fear the injection won’t work. Many people are terrified by needles, especially when that needle is inserted into their mouth. Some others fear the injection will actually not block pain, despite the need for the needle.
- Embarrassment and loss of personal space. Many people feel uncomfortable about the physical closeness of the dentist or hygienist to their face. Others may feel self-conscious about the appearance of their teeth or possible mouth odours.
- Feelings of helplessness and loss of control. It’s common for people to feel these emotions considering the situation — sitting in a dental chair with your mouth wide open, a strangers fingers and tools inside, and you unable to see what’s going on.
How You Can Fight Dental Anxiety
- Tell the dentist about your fears. By letting the dentist know exactly why the experience is difficult for you, you will feel more control in the examination chair.
- Remember that dental procedures have greatly improved in the past few years. Modern dentistry offers new methods and treatment options to make you feel comfortable.
- Your dentist can explain the entire procedure to you beforehand, as well as walk you through step-by-step while the procedure is being performed.
- Plan ahead by getting plenty of sleep, eating a high-protein, low-caffeine diet, and scheduling an early appointment.
- Breathe deeply and try to relax. We recommend practising relaxation techniques before and during the appointment. During the appointment listening to music is pleasant and distracting.
- Talk to the dentist about stopping if you’re uncomfortable. This puts you in control of the procedure and alerts the dentist if you’re uncomfortable or need to take a break during the appointment.
- Visit your Glen Waverley dentist regularly to prevent problems. The more you go to the dentist for routine cleanings, the more likely you are to avoid larger problems that result in extensive procedures.
- Visit the office and talk to the staff before your first appointment.
- Go slow. Dentists are happy to go slow with nervous patients. Also, to build a relationship, try to make your first visit a simple one, such as cleaning. Confidence can grow from there.
How EK Dental Surgery Can Help
At EK Dental Surgery, one answer to your dental fear is dental sedation, which uses sedative medications to make the patient calmer and to help the dentist perform the dental procedure properly.
Types of Dental Sedation
- Oral Conscious Sedation
- Inhalation Sedation (Nitrous Oxide or “Laughing Gas”)
- Intravenous Sedation
- Local Anaesthetic
- General Anaesthetic
How Dental Sedation Overcomes Dental Fear
- It ensures a relaxed and pain-free dental experience
- Makes you more comfortable and confident in visiting the dentist
- You will no longer feel apprehensive and scared about seeing your dentist and undergoing dental procedures
- They are commonly used for lengthy procedures or multiple treatments
- They work for an extended time, making you lose track of memory of the treatment
You can learn all about how EK Dental Surgery uses dental sedation to fight anxiety right here at our dental sedation page!
Beat your Dental Fear with your Trusted Glen Waverley Dentist
Our team is composed of dedicated dentists and staff working to provide the best care possible with the most modern tools and techniques.
At EK Dental Surgery, we can help you achieve a movie-star smile and tip-top dental health.
EK Dental Surgery is conveniently located on Springvale Road in Glen Waverley.
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We are located at 230 Springvale Road in Glen Waverley.