Do you dread going to the dentist? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Dental anxiety is very common and can affect both adults and children. Many people deal with their dental anxiety by simply avoiding going to the dentist. Unfortunately, this can harm your oral health. Luckily there are ways to overcome your dental anxiety. At The Dental Family Beaumaris, we want all our patients to feel relaxed and comfortable when in our care.
In this article, we discuss dental anxiety and how we help our patients to overcome it.
What is dental anxiety?
Dental anxiety refers to the stress and fear associated with going to the dentist. In Australia, it’s estimated that 1 in 6 adults and 1 in 10 children experience dental anxiety. Although dental anxiety is common it’s important to figure out ways of overcoming it. Simply avoiding going to the dentist won’t help, avoidance can often make the anxiety worse. Not to mention it can have negative effects on your oral health. Avoiding going to the dentist can lead to cavities, discolouration, gum disease and even tooth loss.
What are the common causes of dental anxiety?
Dental anxiety can stem from a number of factors:
Fear of pain
One of the most common causes of dental anxiety is a fear of pain. Dentists use a variety of tools that may make noise and look scary to some. These tools are often associated with causing pain by patients suffering from dental anxiety.
Fear of injection or needles
Most people don’t enjoy having to get injections or needles and sometimes needles are required to undergo a dental procedure. They are most commonly needed when administering local anaesthetic (to numb the area being treated). Feeling afraid of a needle is a completely normal reaction, but it’s important to remember that your dentist will never use a needle without discussing it with you first. Dental needles are much thinner than regular medical needles, so that in combination with good injecting technique means you should barely feel it.
A feeling of helplessness or loss of control
It’s not nice to feel like you aren’t in control. Going to the dentist can make people feel helpless because they feel like they have to give up control to allow their dentist to help. This may be a more common feeling experienced by nervous patients when undergoing certain procedures.
Previous painful or negative dental experience
If you’ve ever had a bad experience at the dentist, it’s only natural that you may feel scared to go again. Sometimes people have negative dental experiences as children and that fear carries on into adulthood. That’s why it’s always good to go to a trusted dentist who offers a combination of compassion, skill and the best and latest in dental technology.
How we manage our patients’ dental anxiety
At The Dental Family Beaumaris, we understand and empathise with people who experience dental anxiety. That’s why we’ve made a conscious effort to create a calm and comfortable environment for our patients. Here are some of the ways we help our patients with dental anxiety:
We make sure you feel calm and relaxed
We make sure our patients feel at home from the moment they step into our clinic. Our friendly team is dedicated to making sure you feel calm and relaxed. Our staff all understand the difficulties that come from dental anxiety, so you should never feel nervous to let us know.
We communicate with you
One of the best ways to reduce dental anxiety is through clear communication. No matter what treatment you are receiving we make sure to explain every last detail before and during the process. Being aware of what’s going on can help to calm your nerves. It means there are no surprises during your visit.
We give you the control
We believe in total transparency; this means we never push you to receive certain treatments or procedures. We take the time to explain your options and then let you decide how to proceed. We support whatever choice you make.
We let you take regular breaks
It’s important to be able to take regular breaks or rests when undergoing dental work. Whether it’s a complicated procedure or a simple check-up and clean, you can have as many breaks as you need. We usually tell our patients to raise a hand or make a little signal when they need to take a break. It’s another way that you remain in control.
Feel comfortable at The Dental Family Beaumaris
It’s important to remember that our only goal is helping you. We want you to have a positive dental experience so that you can enjoy healthy teeth for life. If you experience dental anxiety, let us know when booking in. We’ll take extra care to make sure you feel relaxed and comfortable when you come in.