Dental anxiety? Let us help you
We’ve witnessed people of all ages in Oakleigh and across Melbourne experience a fear of visiting the dentist and having a dental examination.
Dr Ron was the first Dental Phobia certified dentist in Melbourne, and has had specific training in helping phobic or anxious patients receive dental treatment. The best thing you can do to help yourself is let us know about your fear.
Dental anxiety and dental phobia
What is dental anxiety?
Dental anxiety is the feeling of apprehension, nervousness or fear felt before visiting the dentist. For some, even the thought of visiting the dentist can provoke this fear. Dental anxiety is very common, and most people experience some degree of anxiety when undergoing a new procedure.
What is dental phobia?
Dental phobia is similar to dental anxiety, but much, much stronger. People with dental phobia will usually avoid visiting the dentist at all costs. They can also feel anxiety at the mention of teeth, dentists or oral care (such as toothpaste advertisements). The term ‘phobia’ refers to an “an irrational, severe fear that leads to avoidance of the feared situation”. Many patients, though, may not perceive the fear as irrational.
Types of dental fears
There are actually many different types of dental fears, though many centre on fear of pain, loss of control and negative evaluation. Sometimes specific sights, sounds or smells can trigger fear, (such as the drill, the overhead light, or the smell of the room). Some patients dread the helpless feeling of lying back on the chair, or the invasion of personal space when the dentist examines their teeth.
Causes of dental phobia
In most cases, dental fear can be traced back to a negative or traumatic previous experience with a dentist, in which the patient felt pain, helplessness or humiliation. In some cases, an existing anxiety condition (such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Generalised Anxiety) can result in dental anxiety or phobia.
What we can do
Yes. We have worked with many people suffering dental anxiety and phobia. We try to understand and alleviate their fears so they can form positive associations with dentist visits. Once we understand your history and the specific nature of your fears, we can adjust many aspects of our procedure to make you more comfortable. We will explain any procedure honestly so you know what to expect, and give you control with a signal to stop if you need a break. We will do our best to make your appointment relaxed and calm.