More love, less fear

Dealing with Dental Phobia and Anxiety

Someone poking and prodding around in your mouth isn’t most people’s idea of fun. Add in the thought of drills, needles and various tongue-sucking devices and a simple dental check-up can turn into quite an ordeal. Dealing with dental anxiety is a real problem, not only to keep your nerves at bay but to also ensure you have good dental hygiene and overall health.

What is Dental Phobia?

Dental phobia is described as someone who has irrational fear of seeing a dentist and will purposely delay and even avoid dental appointments altogether. When oral hygiene is neglected, dental disease can become worse. This often results in more invasive and traumatic treatments, further fanning the fear of dentists.

Suffering from dental phobia – you’re not alone

If you suffer a level of anxiety going to the dentist, you’re not alone. Your dental anxiety may be due to a previous dental experience, fear of what the dentist will find or simply a trigger for an existing anxiety related illness. While many will overcome this fear and make their regular appointment, a certain number will delay seeing a dentist and put their dental health at risk.

How to manage dental phobia

Coping with dental anxiety is important to get on top of before it develops into a potential phobia. Some anxiety coping techniques such as deep breathing, mediation and distracting your thoughts with calming music can be effective.

When arriving at your appointment, be upfront with Dr Finkelstein about how you are feeling. This will allow him to tailor your treatment to make you feel calm throughout your dental experience.

For more serious cases of dental anxiety or phobia, medical management may be recommended. This could include the delivery of nitrous oxide (known as happy gas), anxiety relieving medication and even general anaesthetic. While medication is an option, overcoming dental anxiety through positive dental experiences provides better coping mechanisms to reduce future dental anxiety episodes.

Dr Michael Finkelstein is dedicated to the well-being of his patients. He provides informed, gentle and caring dental services to all his patients and can help you deal with your own form of dental anxiety or phobia. Contact either the Sydney CBD or Chatswood dental suites to Book an Appointment for your next Dental Check-up and or discuss your dental anxiety needs.

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