People that actively enjoy a dental appointment are few and far between, but if you experience elevated stress levels that inhibit your choices, then this is dental anxiety. Dental anxiety is extremely common, and it can affect anyone, at any time, even if you’ve previously been fine at the dentist.

Everyone is different and it is worse for some than others, sometimes leading to a missed or cancelled dental appointment. If you’re struggling to attend the dentist because of anxiety, this article offers some practical tips that may help you to overcome your fears. At Dental Excel, we want to support you in your dental goals and are here to listen and understand your dental anxiety. Pick up the phone or use the contact form to send us a message and let us help.

What is dental anxiety?

If you suffer from dental anxiety or any other phobia, you’ll know that it is bigger than simply a fear of the dentist. It can affect anyone and can be extremely distressing. Dental anxiety is a fearful reaction or elevated stress related to a dental environment. This may be directly linked or associated with another phobia – of needles, for example. There are different levels of dental anxiety and attacks can be triggered by certain sounds or even smells associated with the dentist chair.

For some people, the phobia becomes overwhelming and the flight instinct kicks in. This results in avoidance, delay or cancellation of dental appointments. If overcoming these fears and resuming regular dental check ups is something that feels like a distant goal, here are a few ways we can help.

Familiarise yourself with the physical location

It can help if you familiarise yourself with the environment, so that you know what to expect when you’re ready to make the appointment. This could start gently at first, with a look at some images of the location, the staff and the dentists on the website.

A physical visit to the practice is a great idea – this is when you can meet the staff and approach them about your concerns. At Dental Excel, every member of staff is familiar with many levels of dental anxiety and there is no obligation to book an appointment if you pop in to introduce yourself.

Ask questions

With so many reasons for dental anxiety, asking questions can help both you and the team try to find the root cause of the stress and a way to address it. Write the questions down and either pick up the phone or pop in and chat to one of the front desk staff. You can send questions by email too and we’ll answer as soon as we can, whether you request a call back or we reply to your email.

Some of our most common questions and concerns over the years have been about:

I have a needle phobia. If I have to have treatment, do you offer any other options?

Yes, at Dental Excel, we offer Happy Gas and oral sedation as an alternative to injected anaesthetic.

My teeth are in terrible condition and this makes me nervous of making the appointment.

Dental Excel dentists and support teams care about helping you reach your dental goals. We’re experienced and have supported many patients in their smile journey. Take a look at some of our before and after pictures here.

I had a terrible experience some years ago and I’ve never been back to a dentist since. I’m not sure where to start.

Previous bad experiences at the dentist can leave patients with dental anxiety and this is both common and understandable. Try to remember that not all dentists are the same and today’s technology means that appointments are probably different now than from what you remember.

Take it a step at a time and try some of our tips to help grow your confidence. When you’re ready, talk to us about your fears and let us support your first visit.

I really feel like I need to visit the dentist, but I’m concerned about the cost of the treatment I might need.

Routine check-ups don’t always result in treatment plans, with many patients needing no treatment at all, especially if they have attended a dentist for regular checks and cleans.

However, unexpected bills can typically cause additional strain on the household budget and this is a common concern for many people. We try to do what we can and offer a range of payment plans to help spread the cost of treatment, should it be needed.

We also accept major credit cards, some health schemes and bulk bill for the CDBS, which provides free dental care for eligible children. Talk to the front desk team – we’re here to help with your concerns about payment. Our dentists can work with you to schedule treatments to suit your timescales and budget.

Let us help ease your fears

Dental Excel dentists are dedicated to making your appointment as comfortable as possible. We take appointments at your pace and use technology to let you see (if you want to) what we see when we look at your teeth. We’re all familiar with the symptoms and causes of dental anxiety and we’re here to support you through your journey to overcome them.

We’ve been on the Sunshine Coast for more than 25 years, caring for generations of families and welcoming new patients. Family-run, family-oriented and care-centric, we’re here for you.
Find out more about how we can help support and ease your dental anxiety on this page, call us today to talk it through or, if you’re ready – book online at one of our five, friendly locations here.

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