How can I manage my dental phobia?
Six Steps to Get over Your Dental Phobia
#1 Visit your dentist regularly before you have a dental problem.
We recommend coming every six months. If you get into a regular dental routine, it’ll help you get over that initial feeling of fear, and you’ll find that it’s not so bad. With each regular visit where you don’t have a bad experience, you’ll break down that fear a little bit, and you’ll have more chance of a positive encounter.
It also comes back to early detection and prevention. If you’re coming in regularly for a dental clean, your gums and teeth will stay healthy, and you won’t have a painful experience during your check-up. But if you put it off, then your gums can become inflamed, sensitive and possibly infected, which can result in pain.
#2 Book an early morning appointment.
Making an appointment first thing in the morning can help, as it gets it out of the way and you won’t have as much time to get upset and build up your fear throughout the day. The later you leave it in the day, the more you’ll think about it and the worse your fear can become.
#3 Bring someone you trust for support.
Talk to someone who’s not scared of the dentist, whether it’s a close friend or relative. If you haven’t been to the dentist for a long time, ask them to come along with you for support.
#4 Talk to us about your fear.
All of the dental team at Alderley Dental in Brisbane are friendly, caring and easy to talk to. If you are scared or fearful of pain, there are steps they can take to help you.
Our front desk staff are very helpful, so confide in them when you first arrive and let them know you’re anxious.
Then when you come in for your check-up, we’ll spend time talking and understanding your fears. We spend that extra time and patience to hear you out and learn about your exact concerns and fears.
We find that with anxious patients, once they’ve put into words what they’re frightened of, they feel a lot better. Then we can see how we can best help them with their fear and adapt treatment accordingly. Say, for example, you’re scared of having a needle, we can use plenty of numbing cream or happy gas to help.
#5 Put your hand up if you’re uncomfortable.
At the start of your appointment, we’ll explain the procedure – what’s involved and what you can expect to feel. We do this with all our patients, however, with a very anxious patient we’ll take more time to talk through it.
Throughout the appointment, we’ll check on you to see if you’re ok. Many anxious patients particularly don’t like the feeling of not being in complete control, so we let them know that if they want us to stop at any point, we’ll stop straight away and they can take as much time as needed.
#6 Use distraction tools and techniques.
We have a TV in each room, so let us know your favourite channel and take the opportunity to lie back and watch some TV. Some patients also bring in their own music and headphones and tell us that it helps to block out the background noise of a dental procedure, like a drill. It can also help to simply listen to something you’re comfortable and familiar with.
If you’re too scared of the dentist to book an appointment, consider asking a friend or relative to do it for you and come with you for support. Our friendly and caring staff will understand. Please call our office on 07 3856 2144 today.