Overcoming Your Dental Anxiety

A patient talks to the dentist and dental assistant

In a recent study by the Australian Dental Journal, it was found that around one in 7 people experiences a high level of dental fear, and the majority of the population were revealed to experience some nervousness about dental visits.

Fortunately, dentists are specially trained to work with anxious patients and will strive to make you as calm and comfortable as possible. A dentist’s ultimate aim is to provide the care and treatment you need in a non-threatening environment.

At Ipswich Family Dental, we will do all we can to alleviate your concerns before and during your appointment – read on for more tips on how you and your dentist can make sure your visit is stress-free.

Be Honest about Your Dental Anxiety

Your Ipswich family dentist will be very familiar with your concerns, so don’t be afraid to admit your fears. Arrange to speak to your dentist before your appointment so you can discuss what aspects of treatment make you nervous and what your dentist could do to help. Ask any questions you may have about what will happen during your session and what tools will be used.

Determine What Scares You

Try to think about where your anxiety comes from – is it a negative past experience, a general unease or a fear of something specific? Once you know what is causing your nerves, you’ll have a much better chance of overcoming them.

For example, if you’re scared of a procedure being painful, you can talk to your dentist about ways to avoid this with anaesthetics and painkillers. If your fear stems from a bad childhood experience, then talking this through and understanding how dentistry has changed since your unpleasant visit will be reassuring.

Bring a Friend or Relative

Having someone who understands your fears in the room with you can be very reassuring. They can help you to stay calm during your appointment and provide a distraction if you need it. Check with your dentist first to determine whether this will be possible. If not, then just knowing that someone is there for you in the waiting room can really help to put you at ease.

Distract Yourself

If you are in for a longer procedure, it’s usually possible for you to listen to music while the dentist works. Listen to your favourite playlist or podcast to relax and distract yourself. If this isn’t possible, work out a way to distract yourself before you go in – this could be replaying the plot of your favourite movie, remembering every meal you’ve had in the past week or even just reciting the alphabet backwards.

Establish a Signal

Often, the apprehension about a dental procedure comes from the lack of control you may feel when you’re in the chair. Ask your dentist if you can arrange a hand signal to use when you feel uncomfortable or worried. This way, they know to stop, giving you back control of the situation.

If you’d like to arrange a dental appointment in a safe, comfortable environment, call Ipswich Family Dental now on 07 3201 6767 (Brassall) or 07 3281 1781 (Ipswich) or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.