Dental Anxiety Cairns QLD
We know that fear of the dentist knows no age or gender. This is why we’re passionate about helping all of our patients that suffer from this.
Dental anxiety is a relatively common condition that can stem from negative experiences from the past, a mindset passed down from a parent or simply because you haven’t visited the dentist in so long that it feels strange and puts you out of your comfort zone.
While our team will always be friendly, helpful and understanding to all of our patients, we also offer certain technologies which we have seen reduce patient anxiety.
The Intraoral Camera
Our intraoral camera (in-mouth camera) can give patients a close-up look at their teeth without the need to feel like their personal bubble is being invaded. This device is very small and will require you to open up so we can show you certain areas of concern easily with improved comfort and convenience.
‘Comfort First’ is our motto
The comfort of our patients is extremely important to us. We aim to make every part of your visit comfortable which includes our lounges in the waiting area and the facilities that are available during your appointment. We welcome all of our patients to use our in-office iPods during their procedures or check-ups to distract themselves with their choice of music. We find this assists greatly in relaxation.
What to do if you’re scared of the dentist?
The best way to cope with dental anxiety, or a fear of visiting the dentist, is communication! Discussing your fears with your dentist opens up opportunities for them to be addressed. Once your dentist is aware of your fears, he or she will be able to work alongside you to determine the best ways to help you to feel less anxious and more relaxed and comfortable.
For example, if you have a fear of the tools, your dentist may explain them to you, or talk to you as they are being used. Ask your dentist to explain what is happening at each step of the procedure and establish a stop signal (like raising a hand) so you can feel that you have some control over what is happening. Sometimes, something like a breath, a rinse, or a break is all you need to feel a little bit calmer in the dental chair.
Some other strategies include bringing a friend along to your appointment to help to make the environment a little more familiar, listening to calming music before or even during the treatment or booking an early appointment to lessen the amount of time you have to dwell on it.
At Totally Smiles Dental Group, we take the time with anxious patients and work hard to ensure that the entire dental experience is as easy and smooth as possible. Our entire team are understanding, experienced and here to help.
Why are people scared of dentists?
There are many reasons that could explain why someone is experiencing a sense of fear before or during a dental visit. Some might be a little easier to understand, while some might have no explanation at all.
Some of the reasons that you may be experiencing dental anxiety include:
A Fear of pain: Many people are afraid that their dental treatment is going to cause them some sort of pain. This might be from a previous painful dental experience, or from hearing stories from others who have spoken of their own unpleasant experience. Thankfully, modern dentistry techniques are less invasive and painful than their older counterparts. Tools are more efficient and smaller and the use of anaesthesia in many procedures eliminates any pain at all.
A fear of embarrassment and loss of personal space: Some patients experience a sense of embarrassment or shame about their teeth, especially if their fear of the dentist has prevented them from visiting a dentist for an extended period of time. This can be exacerbated by lack of communication between dentist and patient. It is important to remember that your dentist is a professional and will never judge you on the condition of your teeth. Their job is to guide, treat and support you to help to bring your mouth to optimum condition and any recommendations or instruction they might give isn’t personal.
Sometimes, it is the small distance between the patient and the dentist that causes discomfort and embarrassment. Openly speaking to your dentist about how you are feeling is one of the best ways to help to feel more comfortable.
A fear of a lack of control: Some patients can feel like they have very little control over the situation when they passively lie in the dental chair. It can feel overwhelming to have a dentist and dental assistant probing around inside their mouth with tools and at a close proximity, especially when you cannot see what is going on. This situation can be associated with feelings of hopelessness, a lack of control, a feeling of being trapped or a sense of suffocation.
A fear of a past experience: Most dental fears are a result of some sort of bad experience in the past. This might include a painful treatment, a stressful experience or procedure complications. It is important to tell your dentist about your experience, so they can work alongside you to help you to feel more comfortable and reassured. Modern dentistry can greatly minimise any pain and discomfort and doesn’t have to be an ordeal.