How Do I Overcome Dental Anxiety?

Dental anxiety is common but takes many different forms. If dental anxiety is preventing you from seeking dental treatment, it's important to know you’re not alone.

How to overcome dental anxiety

It's quite normal for people to feel nervous about going to the dentist, but for some people dental anxiety can present a much more debilitating problem. If you find that dental anxiety is preventing you from booking an appointment the Gentle Dental team can help.

What is dental anxiety?

Dental anxiety is anxiety that prevents you from seeking care that keeps your mouth and teeth healthy. 

There can be all sorts of reasons why you may feel anxious about visiting the dentist. It could be down to a negative experience in the past or just feeling anxious about the thought of a specific type of treatment. It’s also quite common for people to feel embarrassed about going to the dentist if it’s been a few years since their last appointment. 

It’s important to know that as your dentists, we’re here to help make your visit as comfortable as possible.

How our dentists put you at ease

We have a ‘no judgement’ policy for every patient. That means you won’t be told off if it’s been a while since you’ve been to the dentist. 

You can zone out while in our care. We have ceiling-mounted televisions if you need something to focus on during treatment. You can also zone out by listening to music.

We’ll talk you through your treatment. If you’re feeling nervous, we can discuss each part of your appointment or treatment to help you feel more comfortable. 

We can offer additional pain relief. If you require a filling or another type of restorative treatment, we can use a numbing gel before your pain relief so that you don’t feel a thing.

What should I do if I have dental anxiety and need to book a dental appointment?

If you have dental anxiety, it can be tempting to book an appointment with a doctor or other health provider. In most cases, a doctor won’t be able to provide the right kind of care you need, especially for something like a cracked tooth. If you’re feeling nervous you can:

  • Book an appointment with a dental clinic like Gentle Dental that prioritises gentle care
  • Tell your dentist at your appointment that you have dental anxiety
  • Visit your dentist once per year to stay on top of your oral health

What can I expect at a dental appointment?

Knowing what to expect at a routine dental appointment can help calm your nerves. At a dental checkup we will:

  • Ask about your overall dental health 
  • Ask if you are experiencing any pain right now
  • Ask about your oral care routine
  • Examine your mouth, teeth and gums
  • Take bite x-rays
  • Talk your through any additional treatment

Dental check-ups take around 60 minutes. If you’re a new patient, please arrive five minutes ahead of time to fill out your paperwork. 

What if I need to come back for treatment?

If you’re booked in for a routine checkup and require additional treatment, we’ll book you in for a secondary appointment. At your initial appointment we’ll talk you through what you can expect at your next up we will Our dentists will also talk you through what the problem is, and how we can fix it to make you feel at ease. 

How we use technology to make you feel more comfortable during treatment

Dental treatments have come a long way in the past few decades. Advancements in technology mean many treatments are more accurate and have much faster recovery times than in the past. 

  • Dentists can take accurate moulds of your teeth using digital technology. This eliminates the need to use messy pastes. It also allows dentists to create bridges, crowns, veneers and dentures that fit you perfectly. 
  • With CEREC one-visit crowns, your dentist can create and fit a crown in just one visit. 
  • Dentists can also use intra-oral scanning to precisely place an implant during surgery for faster healing times.

Can I request extra pain relief during treatment?

Yes. You can talk to your dentist about choosing a pain relief option that puts you at ease during treatment. These days dentists have a range of options from gels which can help with numbing your gums to IV sedation which ensures you’ll go into a deep state of relaxation before your procedure. 

Need help with your dental anxiety?

At Gentle Dental, we are experts in dealing with dental anxiety. Our dentists will talk you through your exam to ensure you know what’s happening and help you feel nice and relaxed. Book an appointment today.