If you’re overdue for a dental checkup but the prospect of scheduling an appointment has you feeling a little anxious, you can take comfort in the knowledge you’re not alone. In fact, recent research indicates one in seven Australians has a “high dental fear”.
But the reality is, the longer you delay visiting the dentist, the more likely you are to need extensive work. So, if you’re amongst those who find themselves anxious about the dentist, here are our top tips to address your fears…
You’re not alone
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) notes one in seven Australian adults has high dental fear, and for one in three of them this fear has resulted in them delaying seeing a dentist for more than 10 years.
They note, it was once assumed a poor previous dentist visit prompted this anxiety, but more recent research has determined that’s not the case.
“Some people who have had bad experiences have no dental anxiety, while others who have had no negative experiences suffer considerable dental anxiety,” Associate Professor Jason Armfield told the NHMRC.
He investigated numerous aspects of the fear, as well as how dentists can identify, manage and treat dental anxiety, and ultimately noted managing dental anxiety is about understanding how people perceive a visit to the dentist.
Sooner is better than later
This may seem cold comfort if you’ve already delayed seeing a dentist, but sooner is always better than later when it comes to scheduling an overdue appointment.
The longer you delay seeking treatment, the more likely it is that the treatment will be more extensive. And that’s only likely to compound your fears in the future.
Good dental health is linked to overall wellbeing, so the sooner you bite the bullet and have that checkup, the better you will feel immediately, and in the future.
So, how do you take that step and put good intentions into action?
Find the right dentist for you
As with any professional relationship, finding the right dentist for you can help alleviate your concerns and allow you to feel comfortable in the process ahead.
The truth is, the “right person” differs from patient to patient. You need to seek out a dentist whose manner suits your style and whose ethos fits your ideal experience.
We have tips on finding your ideal dentist here.
Tell your dentist your fears
If you’re anxious about seeing a dentist, be up front at the time you book an appointment. Most dental professionals have encountered dental fear countless times before, and have a wealth of strategies to help put you at ease.
At Brite Dental, if we know visiting a dentist sparks anxiety, we can offer a range of suggestions to assist, including scheduling appointments at the most convenient times, easing you into the process, and allowing you to become familiar with your surrounds and the practice ethos prior to undertaking formal assessment and work.
How we can help
We appreciate not everyone feels at ease when it comes to seeing the dentist. But we are here to help and guide you every step of the way.
We aim to reassure you, as a patient, that you are in capable hands and we are more than happy just to sit down with you and chat about any problems you may have.
We take a gentle approach and appreciate it can take time to build up courage for treatment. Don’t worry, we like to feel that we can walk this road together and ultimately aim to provide you with any treatment you require in a most relaxed setting.
Sometimes your first visit may just be a general chat, so we are able to determine what it is you want to achieve when it comes to your oral health.
From there we can create a tailored treatment plan that clearly outlines the steps and procedures involved to achieve your ultimate smile and perfect oral health.
About Brite Dental
Brite Dental is a community-focused dental practice, committed to ensuring you and your family receive the highest quality of care in a warm and professional environment.
Offering a full range of dental services ranging, from children’s dentistry through to high-end cosmetic dentistry, we are conveniently located in central Panania.
You can learn more about our dental services here, or contact us to book your next appointment.