Dental Anxiety

Molonglo Dental Surgery

If you postpone or avoid visiting the dentist out of an unexplained fear or anxiety, you are most likely suffering from what is known as dental anxiety.

There are many reasons for dental anxiety including psychological, experiential and medical ones. We will do our best to help you feel more relaxed and comfortable as we take care of your dental needs. Call our friendly team at Molonglo Dental Surgery on 02 6287 1222.

Dental anxiety is no laughing matter. The proportion of a general population that report a level of anxiety over a dental visit is around the 20% mark. That is a significant number of people who by putting off necessary treatment due to dental phobia are really putting their own oral health at risk.

Dental anxiety can stem from a variety of root causes: Pain, lack of control, negative previous experience, embarrassment and insecurity about the dental state, gagging, needles, negative perception of certain dental instruments (i.e. the dreaded drill), etc.

Our healthcare professionals at Molonglo Dental Surgery will help to address any anxiety issues that you may have while offering therapeutic and medicinal solutions.

Whatever the root cause, it usually helps to involve friendly and empathetic dental professionals in the process of overcoming your dental fears. That’s how we hope you will come to regard us – as healthcare givers that you can trust and rely on.

If you are anxious about visiting a dentist, please tell us how we can help. To book a strictly private and confidential consultation, call our friendly team at Molonglo Dental Surgery on 02 6287 1222.

Do I have Dental Anxiety?

First of all, it is not unusual to be anxious about undergoing dental treatment. In fact, it is a normal physiological and psychological response to a stimulus – in this case, perhaps a clinical situation with a certain level of uncertainty. The anxiety may be considered as your body’s natural “alarm system” that triggers an automatic response when your subconscious mind perceives an element of danger or risk. Due to biological, situational, medical or even genetic reasons, some people may be more predisposed to these triggers than others, but that’s no cause for alarm.

However, dental anxiety issues can become a problem if you avoid seeing a dentist because of it. While there is no empirical formula to check the level of your dental anxiety, there are common symptoms associated with an acute sense of nervousness prior to a dental visit: Sweaty palms, hyperventilation, nausea, pounding heart, dizziness, sense of panic and dread, tightness in the chest.

If this sounds like you, we would like to help.

Your Comfort Matters…

At Molonglo Dental Surgery, we utilise a combination of environmental, communication and minimally invasive techniques to enhance your experience at our clinic. Incorporating soothing music, aromatherapy, and advanced pain-free dental protocols, we make every effort to ensure a smooth and relaxing process for all our patients.

In addition, we offer pre-treatment Penthrox anaesthetics (inhalable form) to better manage dental pain and anxiety relief. For nervous patients, we also recommend anti-anxiety medication before the procedure. These are all safe and effective medications that offer quick relief from the pain and anxiety one might feel when undergoing dental treatments.

Of course, it is just as, if not more important to know that the whole process will be attended to and administered by a caring and respectful team of dental professionals who will listen to your individual needs before working to meet them.

At Molonglo Dental Surgery, the comfort you experience during the treatment – not just the end result – is important to us.

We encourage you to speak to us about any dental anxiety issues or concerns that you may have. To book a strictly private and confidential consultation, call our friendly team at Molonglo Dental Surgery on 02 6287 1222.

How do I overcome my fear of going to the dentist?

Dental anxiety is one of the biggest obstacles to good oral health. It’s the reason why some people only visit the dentist when the pain has become unbearable. Sadly, that often means the condition has already worsened and therefore necessitates the patient undergoing a more invasive treatment, which invariably generates even more fear and apprehension.

In order to break this vicious cycle, there are a few things you can do that can help to reduce or minimise the fear factor:

Recognise that it is a problem: You can’t deal with a problem until you identify it and realise that there are solutions available. Many people feel that their dental phobia is just part and parcel of who they are, and learn to live with it.

While it is true that dental phobia affects many people to some degree, including both adults and children, it doesn’t have to be so.

You can start by analysing your fears: Do you believe that dental procedures are all painful? Are you embarrassed by the state of your teeth and gums? Did you have a past negative experience at a dentist’s office?

Next, find out the degree of your dental fear. How does it compare to other fears on a scale of 1-10. By ‘measuring’ the extent of your dental fear, you are forced to come to terms with it, thus exposing your fear and anxiety for what it really is. Through this process, some people find out how irrational their fears really are, as a way to dismantle the mental deadlock that results in behavioural inertia.

What needs to be realised is that dental anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of. By accepting that it is an issue that can cause major health problems down the road, you would have taken the first step to dealing with it.

Take baby steps: Just as you would test the temperature of the water with your feet before leaping into the pool, you should also take a measured approach to overcoming your dental anxiety.

Some things cannot be rushed. Start slow, beginning with a treatment consultation. The session does not have to end with you reclining on a dentist chair, if that’s not what you want.

Let the dentist know that you are struggling with a dental phobia and ask for his or her advice. If you are afraid of pain, for example, the dentist can offer you sedation dentistry options that can make the treatment procedure totally relaxing and comfortable. If you are afraid of anaesthetic needles, perhaps the use of laughing gas is a better alternative.

It’s only a chat – but one that may open your mind to what is possible. With modern dental technology, millions of patients have received painless and minimally invasive dental treatments. There are also non-clinical methods that are designed to soothe your senses, and to help you relax at the clinic.

Visit a dentist specialising in anxiety: Some people’s fear of the dentist has to do with a negative past experience. Anxious and nervous patients are encouraged to visit a dental anxiety clinic such as Molonglo Dental Surgery in Canberra.

Whether you have a fear of needles or are struggling with root canal anxiety or any other dental fear for that matter, our Canberra dentist at MDS is here to help.

At Molonglo Dental Surgery, we understand that no two patients are alike. We are all individuals with unique preferences, likes and dislikes. It is what makes us special.  As dentists, it is our job to ameliorate your dental issues, and one of our specialties here at MDS is assisting with dental fears and anxiety.

If it helps, bring a trusted friend or family member along, so we can work this through together.

To book a strictly private and confidential consultation, call our friendly team at Molonglo Dental Surgery on 02 6287 1222.

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