For many people, going to the dentist is a daunting experience. It takes many people quite a bit of courage just to make an appointment, and some people are so scared of going to the dentist that they avoid dental appointments as much as possible, only attending when emergency treatment is required.
Some people have a true phobia about going to the dentist. A phobia is a fear that is overwhelming, far beyond a typical fear. Phobia has been defined as: “A persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous.”*
Part of the role of the dental team is to make you feel as comfortable as possible so that your experience can be a positive one.
How We Can Assist Nervous Patients
Getting To Know You
When you attend our practice, the first thing Dr Teo will do after she welcomes you is to talk to you about your dental and medical history. In doing this, our goal is not only to gain valuable knowledge to best assist you, but also to give you an opportunity to get to know us and to feel welcome to ask any questions, share about your prior experiences, and express any concerns you may have.
On the topic of your questions, every single one of them is important. There is no such thing as a silly question in our practice! If you are feeling nervous, anxious or downright terrified, this is the time to let us know. We will never be judgmental or dismiss your fears: by knowing what they are, we are in a better position to help you.
During Your Treatment
When it comes to having treatment, Dr Teo is happy to walk you through each step of the appointment- no surprises! For example, before your mouth is numbed up, she will apply a topical anaesthetic to numb the gum, and then tell you that you may feel a “little pinch.” If it helps you to know what’s going on, Dr Teo is happy to show you the equipment she will use during your treatment and describe how it works.
Whilst you are in the chair, Dr Teo is happy to allow you regular breaks if you need them. If your mouth needs a rest, or if you are feeling any discomfort, the team will be sensitive to this and respond promptly to your needs. You are always the one in control. If at any time you would like Dr Teo to stop, you can raise your hand up. This is the signal that you would like us to stop for a moment.
“Our goal is that you feel empowered and feel as comfortable as possible throughout your dental experience.”
If you decide that you’d prefer to have your treatment under sedation or general anaesthetic, this can be arranged. You might like to learn more about these options on our page about sleep dentistry.
It Is Important That You Do Not Feel Bad About Being Nervous
You do not need to feel embarrassed for being scared of going to the dentist. Unfortunately, many people have had unpleasant experiences with the dentist, particularly in their younger days. It doesn’t help that the media is filled with negative images of our profession. These can make anyone nervous, including people who have also had positive experiences at the dentist.
You Are Our Priority
Our priority is to put you at ease about visiting us. If you would like to ask us any questions before your appointment, we are happy to answer them. Please feel free to call us on (03) 5298 1020.
*Definition sourced from this online dictionary