Over the years Thornton Dental has welcomed thousands of patients into our dental family. Some people enjoy coming to the dentist and look forward to it for the feeling of fresh, smooth teeth. Others, however, have dental anxiety ranging from mild to extreme.
People are not born with a fear of dentists, but rather something has happened over time to create the phobia. Some patients have had a bad experience with a previous dentist, while others simply don’t like the sound of a drill, the sight of a needle, or the feeling of a doctor’s hands in their mouth.
Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life, but if you feel an overwhelming sense of fear and panic when you step into our office, we want to help to put you at ease. Avoiding the dentist altogether can only lead to much larger problems, so Thornton Dental is pleased to share with you is some information on and tips about dealing with dental anxiety at our office.
Fast Facts About Dental Anxiety
Here are some quick facts about dental anxiety to help you put your situation into perspective:
You’re Not The Only One – According to the University of Adelaide, high dental fear affects approximately one in six Australian adults and about one in ten children. Among some sub-groups of the population, such as middle-aged women, the prevalence of high dental fear may be as high as one in three individuals.
Dental phobia, which is high dental fear that impacts significantly on someone’s life, affects about 5% of the Australian population. The prevalence of high dental anxiety varies by a number of possible patient characteristics, but irrespective of characteristics, any Australian might fall prey to dental anxiety.
There are Several Common Causes of Anxiety – There are four main causes of dental anxiety:
- Fear of Pain
- Helpless Feeling in the Dental Chair
- Embarrassment at Current Dental Hygiene
- Bad Past Experiences at the Dentist
Ranges of Dental Fear – There are varying degrees of dental anxiety, and while the skilled dental team at Thornton Dental is sensitive to all of them, we are most concerned with severe cases that might interfere with proper dental health.
So, the real question becomes what can you do to overcome your anxiety?
What Can be Done to Reduce Anxiety?
- Let Us Get To Know You & Schedule Regular Visits – When scheduling your first visit (or any visit!), let us know about your fears and concerns. Our staff will walk you through what you can expect during your visit. This should take away any fear of the “unknown” upon your arrival. Let us know if you want to speak to the doctor before your appointment, as this can sometimes help put you at ease.
Frequent visits to your Thornton Dental dentist not only improves your dental health, but also help you to get to know and trust our staff, and reduce anxiety. Staying on top of your oral hygiene will also enable Thorton Dental to treat problems early, avoiding more extensive procedures at a later date and even higher levels of anxiety.
- Rest Up – Get a good night’s sleep before your appointment and avoid caffeine before your visit. Even consider scheduling your appointment early in the morning, so that you don’t start worrying the procedure.
- Share Expectations With Us – The goal of your visit is not just to deal with any issues you might currently have, but also to ensure you have a good experience so you are happy to come back for regular appointments.
- Bring a Friend – Having someone by your side can help you make decisions and remain calm. If you need reassurance, your friends and family will be there for you!
- Talk To Us – When you set up your appointment and go for treatment, make sure we know you have dental anxiety. We will walk you through the steps of your procedure. Just the knowledge of will happen next can help put you at ease, and if you need a break, don’t hesitate to ask!
- Relaxation Techniques– Practice controlled breathing through the nose by taking a big breath, holding it, and letting it out slowly. This can help you to relax your muscles and slow your heartbeat, both of which are shown to reduce anxiety.
- Discuss All Your Options – If you feel still have fear when you think of visiting a dentist, talk to us about available sedatives, numbing agents, or prescriptions that may or may not be appropriate for you. Our mission is to make you comfortable so we can ensure your optimal dental health!
Stress-free Visits at Thornton Dental
Thornton Dental is committed to the promotion of good dental health and the education of all patients to help them achieve a beautiful, healthy smile for life.
All procedures at Thornton Dental are carried out using state-of-the-art equipment in modern, friendly facilities, which offer the convenience of extended opening hours.
Thornton Dental serves the community of Thornton, Beresfield, Tarro, Woodberry, East Maitland, Chisholm, Raymond Terrace, Green hills, Metford, Ashtonfield, Tenambit, Morpeth, Lorn, Bolwarra Heights, and surrounding areas of Maitland.