Many people feel nervous about seeing the dentist and dental anxiety (sometimes even a phobia) is a common fear. But giving in to dental anxiety can have a negative impact on your oral health and general wellbeing if it causes you delay or avoid your routine oral examinations.
Besides daily brushing and flossing, a biannual checkup is the best thing you can do for your oral health. And there is also a strong relationship between your oral health and your overall health, so taking good care of your mouth is a big part of taking care of your whole body. Sadly, patients with dental anxiety often forgo these very important visits.
Skipping dental visits due to anxiety is a short-term approach with potentially disastrous long-term effect. To understand the topic better, DentArana has put together the following information on dental anxiety and how to combat it.
How Common Is Dental Anxiety?
According to a March 2016 study by the Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health at Adelaide University, as many as one in six Australian adults and 10 percent of children suffer from a high level of dental fear.
So, if you do suffer dental anxiety, you should know that you do not suffer it alone.
What Causes Dental Anxiety
There are multiple possible causes for dental anxiety, but they often boil down to these underlying issues:
- Fear (of pain, loss of control, difficult breathing, etc.)
- Fear of judgment or embarrassment.
- Lack of time
- Lack of money
Unfortunately, not going to the dentist can lead to even higher dental anxiety as oral health declines. You may begin to wonder if a dental visit will “hurt more” because you have neglected your teeth.
But even if you have had reasons not to visit your dentist in the past, it is time to put them aside and schedule a visit to DentArana!
Strategies for Conquering Dental Anxiety
Identify and Communicate – The most important step to take in combatting dental anxiety or dental phobia is understanding the source of your. Once dental fears are identified, you can talk to the Dentarana team about them. Good communication is a key part of treatment and can help set you at ease.
Adapt your Diet. High-protein foods create a calming effect. Try eating some prior to your appointment to help you settle. And don’t drink caffeine as it can increase your jitters.
Counseling. Dental anxiety and dental phobia are more common than you might imagine. There are self-help and peer support groups (some online) that can help you comprehend and overcome your issues. For more serious cases of dental phobia, professional psychological counseling and psychotherapy are available.
Relaxation Therapy. Combat anxiousness by practicing deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery and hypnosis. Yoga and meditation might help calm your nerves before an appointment.
Embrace All Strategies! There are a number of other approaches including pauses and hand-signals to keep your dentist aware of how you feel. Distraction can also be a powerful, while some patients use visualization as a tool to lift their imaginations out of the dental chair.
If you do suffer from dental anxiety, your DentArana dentist will be happy to discuss these strategies with you.
How DentArana Can Help?
Our main focus is to ensure you have a happy, calm and pain free experience within our practice, to help guarantee this we offer several forms of sedation:
- Happy Gas (nitrous oxide) is a tasteless, colourless and odourless gas that is inhaled in through the nose. The gas makes you feel very relaxed, happy and giggly.
- NuCalm is an all-natural relaxation technology. This deep relaxation is achieved in four simple steps, all-natural dietary supplements, FDA cleared micro-current, soothing music and light-blocking glasses. This provides a wonderful relaxing experience for our adult patients and children over 12 years old.
- Happy Gas and NuCalm can be administered together to achieve a very deep state of relaxation when undergoing procedures such as surgical extractions or implants. Patients are also able to drive after being sedated by Happy Gas or NuCalm.
- Conscious Sedation (Twilight) is a very safe, efficient and effective way of providing anxiety relief and pain control during dental procedures. Conscious sedation is not general anaesthesia. The aim of conscious sedation is to reach a state of calm relaxation and drowsiness. See more in our recent post on conscious sedation.
Stress-free Visits at DentArana in Arana Hills
Whatever your dental condition, your Arana Hills dentist is here to help optimize your dental health, and without pain and anxiety!
We will examine you to ensure that you are not suffering from tooth decay, infection, or gum disease. If you are, we will address those issues. Then, after we have helped you achieve your optimum level of dental health, we will talk with you about your ongoing dental health and what approach is most likely to help you keep it!