If you feel butterflies in your stomach when a dental appointment comes near, you aren’t the only one.
The Dental Research Journal says, “Depending on the population and the measurement technique, 2.5-20% people endure high dental anxiety.”
In some cases, this is due to a bad or painful experience in the past. More often, it is because it has been too long between visits to the dentist – The clinical setting of the dentist’s office can be intimidating.
But while dental anxiety is perfectly normal, it is also crucial for dental and overall health that you see a dentist regularly.
Which is why Captivate Dental, is committed to giving you a dental experience with the least possible amount of anxiety and discomfort!
What causes dental anxiety? Studies reveal four things:
- Fear of pain. Fear of pain is probably the most common reason for avoiding the 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. But modern dentistry has moved far beyond the discomfort of the “old days”, with improved dental techniques, better understanding and compassion, and enhanced methods of anaesthetic.
- Fear of injections or fear the injection won’t work. Many people are terrified of needles, and that fear just increases if that needle is going to be inserted into their mouth. Others are concerned that the injection will not wholly block pain.
- Embarrassment and loss of personal space. Many people feel uncomfortable when others get too close – but dentistry requires the dentist or hygienist to not only get close but actually get into the mouth. Others may feel self-conscious about the appearance of their teeth, evidence of poor care, or possible mouth odours.
- Feelings of loss of control and helplessness. It’s understandable that people feel these emotions given the situation – You’re in a dental chair mouth wide open, with fingers and tools inside, and you can’t see what’s going on.
The problem is that NOT visiting your dentist only leads to more significant problems down the road!
Dealing with dental anxiety
The good news is there are personal strategies you can utilise to decrease your anxiety:
Get to know your dentist. From your first visit onward, communicate your concerns and fears. If we understand what worries you, we can help mitigate it. So there are no “mysteries” our staff walks you through what you can expect during any visit, helping reduce your fear of the “unknown”.
Get rest. Get a good night’s sleep and avoid caffeine before your appointment. Never get a dental checkup or procedure when you are feeling ill.
Pay attention to scheduling. If you are a worrier, schedule your appointment in the early morning. This doesn’t give you the time to start to questioning the procedure or worrying about a visit later in the day.
Bring a friend. Having someone you trust nearby can help you to make decisions and calm down. If you need reassurance, they will be there for you! If your friend is a stuffed animal or stress-ball? Don’t worry, at Captivate Dental we understand!
Distract yourself. If you don’t have to concentrate on your treatment, you are less likely to feel anxiety. So, go for distraction! Listen to music. Read magazines, books, or even draw in a colouring-book while you wait for your appointment. If you like control, ask the staff to distract you by explaining the step-by-step process you are receiving.
Breathe! Control your breathing by taking a deep breath in through your nose, holding it for a second or two, and letting it out slowly. This relaxes your muscles, slows your heartbeat, and gives you something else to concentrate on.
Schedule regular dental checkups. This seems a bit unintuitive for anxious patients, as it means more time in the dental chair. But regular visits help you to get to know and trust dentist, staff, and procedures and reduces the overall number of visits you need. Captivate Dental will identify and treat problems early, avoiding complicated and expensive procedures farther down the line.
Discuss sedation options. If you still can’t bring yourself to visit us, talk to us about sedatives, anaesthetics, or prescriptions that may or may not be appropriate for you to ease your anxiety.
Complete dental care at Captivate!
Captivate Dental is conveniently located in Moorabbin near Brighton (near Kingston City Hall and Moorabbin Station). We provide the highest quality of care and enable patients to make informed choices.
Our competent, caring staff provides value through excellent diagnostic skills and effective use of the best quality materials. Captivate Dental offers a wide variety of preventative and cosmetic dental treatment for kids, seniors, and everyone between!
For patients with busy schedules, we offer Saturday hours as well as late visits on Wednesday (by appointment only).
- No Gap Initial Examination, Clean, Fluoride treatment and 2x Xrays for all Private Health Insurance Dental coverage
- Free Consultation for Dental Implants and Orthodontics
- Same Day Dental Emergency Available
Call (03) 9553 1249 or visit us at 46 Station Street in Moorabbin.