Western Smiles Dental Care
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What Is Dental Anxiety?

February 28, 2021
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Posted By: Western Smiles Dental Care
Benji and practice Manager Bev

Imagine walking through the dental clinic doors with a smile on your face and your head held high, excited about your teeth cleaning or dental procedure. Unfortunately, that is far from a reality for many people. Here at our Mirrabooka dental clinic, Dr Peter Duke and our team of gentle, caring dentists and staff hope to make this a reality for every patient who trusts us with their oral health.

What Can I Do about Dental Anxiety?

Often, we refer to all dental anxiety under the umbrella of dental phobia or fear. However, at Western Smiles Dental Care, we believe that each person’s emotional response to dentistry is as unique as their smiles. 

Sedation dentistry is often the go-to approach to manage dental anxiety. Still, sedation dentistry rarely resolves the anxiety itself, which is the goal of Dr Duke and our other compassionate dentists. Any sedation also comes with risks, though it’s generally safe and can having lasting effects like grogginess or impairment that disrupt your normal day.

When possible, we use other behaviour- and relational-based strategies to help patients who are coping with dental anxiety regain a sense of empowerment. We aim to develop a relationship with the patients allowing them to have the dental treatments they need to stay healthy and establish trust with our Mirrabooka dentists and clinical team.

Symptoms of Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety can manifest as a fear of a specific procedure, such as root canal or extraction, or a generalised fear of being vulnerable in the dental chair, and can include:

  • Racing heart
  • Shallow breathing
  • Wishing to put off treatment
  • Difficulty even when making an appointment
  • Feelings of fear or dread

Dental anxiety may develop due to a past unpleasant experience or for some unknown reason. We don’t have to know why you’re anxious to help you, but communicating about your dental fear will help us approach your care in a tailored and customised way that helps you feel more relaxed, in control and hopeful about your experience.

Our Unique Approach to Dental Anxiety

Every good relationship is based on trust, which is why Dr Duke opens the door of communication before you even step into the clinic. If you have questions or concerns, we can arrange a phone chat to go over a strategy to help you feel as comfortable as possible before your visit.

Our team will talk to you about ways we can help with your specific type of anxiety. Some patients like to block out sounds with headphones, while others benefit from breathing exercises.

We Put You in Control of Your Dental Visit

It’s difficult to feel anxious about something when you are in complete control of the appointment from beginning to end. That’s what we do here in our Mirrabooka dental clinic; we put our patients in charge.

  • We will fully explain your treatment and what to expect before getting started.
  • We ensure your comfort and that the area is fully anaesthetized, if necessary.
  • We agree on how to communicate during your appointment if you need a break.
  • We give you full permission to stop at any time.
  • We welcome questions and are open to your concerns.

We believe in empowering our patients and strive to develop a compassionate, caring relationship that can benefit your smile and your emotional well-being while in our care.

Do you Need a Solution to Dental Anxiety or Fear?

Let’s make this easy and start with a simple phone call to go over some options with you. Calling our Mirrabooka dental clinic is a big first step to a healthier smile. Our team never passes judgment, even if you have missed a few (or many) check-ups and cleans over the years. Alternatively, Dr Duke is now available for a quick 15 minute chat to help you calm your anxiety. Click here to schedule a time with Dr Duke.