Dental anxiety can prevent good oral and overall health.
Being afraid of the dentist’s office by itself is not the problem. It’s not unusual, and even understandable, that some people are filled with anxiety at the thought of sitting in a dental chair.
But this anxiety becomes a problem when that fear is so intense that it keeps you away from visits to your Simple Smiles dentist!
It’s important to know how letting your dental anxiety keep you from visiting us may affect your oral and overall health. If you maintain a good oral hygiene routine at home, that’s a good start! However, that alone is not enough to keep gum disease at bay. It takes a skilled professional who has the training, tools, and experience to keep more serious dental problems at bay.
But there is good news for you. Simple Smiles Dental is the exact reverse of a scary, cold, and uninviting dentist’s office. From the moment you walk in to Simply Smiles, you will be comforted by the calm atmosphere, our warm, friendly staff, and the coziness of our waiting area. When you make an appointment with us, we go out of our way to make sure you’re as calm and relaxed as possible. Your comfort is our top priority!
And, if you do have dental anxiety, Simply Smiles Dental is happy to share the following information that we hope helps!
Overcoming Mild Dental Anxiety
Mild dental anxiety is discomfort and nervousness at the dentist (as opposed to terror and panic). It can be treated in a number of ways.
Talking to your dentist is the first step to overcoming your dental fears. Make sure your dentist understands your exact anxieties and works with them to make your time in the dental chair as relaxed as possible.
Controlled breathing relaxes your body and shifts your focus to other things in order to preoccupy your mind. Controlled breathing can help you avoid a lot of discomfort and anxiety. The easiest breathing technique simply involves inhaling and exhaling through your nose for a slow count of three for each inhalation and exhalation. This technique is particularly useful as it also overcomes the breathing issues many of us feel when things are in our mouth.
Relaxation techniques may also work. You can bring music into your appointment with you, ask to have your favourite radio station on, or just have the nurse chat to you about something. If you are one of those people who likes control, ask the nurse or dentist to chat about the progress of your treatment. Different relaxation and distraction techniques work for different people so try and find something that will work well for you.
Overcoming Severe Dental Anxiety
Severe dental anxiety often cannot be treated by the steps above – though all of these techniques can and should be used to try and put you at ease. Severe dental anxiety is more of a psychological phobia that is less due to nerves and more due to irrational fears. You can potentially overcome severe dental anxiety in a few ways.
You can receive counseling for your phobia. This looks at the root causes of your phobia and tries to work through it so that you can move beyond it.
Dental anxiety is very common and there are a wide number of support networks for people with these phobias.
Sedation can be an option for severe sufferers of dental anxiety. In fact, sedation may prove one of the best solutions to the problem, giving you a better chance of visiting the dentist again!
There are different types of sedation available. The simplest is oral sedation, which is a tablet that you swallow an hour before the start of dental treatment. You will still be awake and aware of what is happening around you, but you will be also drowsy and more relaxed.
If that isn’t enough, you could also opt for intravenous sedation. This is an injection, so if you have a fear of injections, it may not be for you! You will be awake, however you will be in a deeply relaxed state and you may not remember what happened afterwards.
Finally, you might want to consider sleep-dentistry to alleviate your anxiety! Ask your Simply Smiles Dentist for a recommendation that is best for your particular case.
Get a Full, Healthier Smile at Simply Smiles Dental in Toorak
At Simply Smiles Dental, we aim to give you the smile and dental health of your dreams, without a hint of anxiety or pain.
Our office is in Toorak Village and serves patients from Toorak, South Yarra, Prahran, Windsor, Southbank, South Melbourne, Port Melbourne, Malvern, Albert Park, Melbourne CBD, and other metro areas.
We are a Medibank and HCF Members Choice Dentist as well as an HCF Members Choice Dentist.
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At Simply Smiles Dental, our goal is to make quality dental care affordable. We encourage you to take advantage of our latest offers. To find out more, visit our special offers page today!