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The Blog

Managing Dental Anxiety

If you fear going to the dentist, you are not alone. It is a universal phenomenon.

We use the term ‘dental anxiety’ when someone has anxiety, stress or even fear when going to see a dentist. This anxiety may result in delaying going or avoiding treatment altogether.

There are many reasons why some people experience dental anxiety. Some of the common reasons include:

  • Fear of pain. Fear of pain is a very common reason for avoiding the dentist. This fear is often a result of an early dental experience that was unpleasant or painful.
  • Fear of injections or fear the injection won’t work. Many people are terrified of needles, let alone having one inserted into their mouth. Beyond this fear, others fear that the anaesthesia hasn’t yet taken effect or wasn’t a large enough dose to eliminate any pain before the dental procedure begins.
  • Embarrassment and loss of personal space. Many people feel uncomfortable about the physical closeness of the dentist or assistant to their face. Others may feel self-conscious about the appearance of their teeth or possible mouth odours.

Avoiding the dentist can result in the worsening of dental disease, a greater need for emergency care or more complex treatment. It can also increase the dental anxiety.

Regular dental check-ups, cleans and screening X-rays can prevent dental disease and help the dentist find any problems early, so that simpler and less invasive treatments are needed.

By avoiding going to the dentist, not only are you more likely to need more complex treatments when you do finally attend, but you are also missing out on learning how to better care for your oral health.

At Gold Coast Smiles we are aware that some of our clients may initially come to us feeling some sort of anxiety. We ensure we do everything to make the experience pleasant and that any fears are addressed and alleviated. After the first visit to Gold Coast Smiles, clients feel confident to book their 6-monthly checks.

Some of the coping techniques people may use include:

  • Deep breathing
  • Meditation
  • Distraction (such as listening to music or the use of TV screens)
  • General anesthesia
  • Happy gas

Happy gas or laughing gas, nitrous oxide can help people relax during dental treatment. A mask is fitted to your face, and you breathe a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide. It takes effect within a few minutes and wears off quickly.

You will feel relaxed but will still be awake. You can talk to the dentist and hear what they say to you.

At Gold Coat Smiles, we have invested in the best leading-edge technology because we believe our clients deserve the best care with the least stress. From TV entertainment above the chair to modern and compassionate pain management, we believe in your comfort.

Learn more here Anxious Patients.

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