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What is dental phobia or dental anxiety?
Dental phobia or dental anxiety is an extreme fear of dental treatment and often comes from bad experiences at the dentist.
At Dental at Joondalup, we’re committed to try and help everyone overcome this fear over time or at least help you manage these fears so that we can get your oral health back to where it should be.
We know how difficult going to the dentist can be and we have worked hard to help all our patients manage dental anxiety.
How common is dental phobia or dental anxiety?
There are reports that one in six Australian adults and 1 and 10 Australian kids have a high level of dental fear.
You are definitely not alone and we can definitely assist you.
What are the main causes of dental phobia for anxiety?
The reason we like to ask your concerns at the dentist is so we can get an understanding of the cause and in some cases work with you to overcome these fears.
Some common reasons for developing anxiety include:
- A fear of people being in your personal space
- A fear of pain or discomfort
- A feeling of shame or embarrassment around the current state of your dental health
- A lack of control of feeling of helplessness while you’re having the procedure completed
- Previous negative experience is at the dentist
- Been told by family members how bad going to the dentist is for them
How do I know that I have dental phobia or dental anxiety?
- Do you avoid or delay your regular hygiene appointments?
- Do you have physical changes that occur when you go to the dentist i.e. feel sick, get sweaty or get a high heart rate?
- Do you tend to procrastinate over making an appointment when you know there is a dental emergency?
- Do you think about the dentist in a negative way at night or first thing when you wake up?
Answering yes to any of these questions usually means that you have some form of dental phobia or dental anxiety; however, don’t feel embarrassed by this – we’re here to help and we care!
What are my options for sedation?
Find a dentist that you are comfortable with.
This can involve calling us up anytime and requesting to chat to a dentist that is able to see you.
At Dental at Joondalup we’re not here to judge you on your current oral health – we’re here to assist you get a healthy and happy smile back.
We usually start off with a simple examination and this allows us to talk about your dental concerns, and your strategies to minimise your anxiety or phobias.
We have relaxing music and air diffusers that will try and make the experience as relaxing as possible.
Once you feel comfortable with a dentist come in and see us.
As mentioned, the first appointment doesn’t require any treatment to occur unless you feel brave enough with our friendly team.
They’re able to offer consultations in a non-clinical environment. We can even sit on the bench outside if that would suit you better
Be prepared with any questions you would like answered or anything that particularly makes you nervous.
You’re able to fill out one of these forms if you would prefer to communicate with us through writing.
Bring comfort – this could involve bringing a friend.
We offer you blankets, noise-cancelling headphones, tea, coffee and often have an air diffuser to try and make it not smell like the dentist.
If there’s anything specific you need from us we’re happy to assist!
We are able to assist you with many sedation options if you’re not able to be awake during your treatment. We offer oral sedation, IV sedation, and even general anesthetic through our practice.