How can I ease my anxiety about visiting the dentist?


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Melbourne's Home of Dentistry

anxiety visiting the dentistAs Smile Solutions’ Managing Director, Dr Kia Pajouhesh can attest, visiting the dentist can sometimes be a nerve-wracking experience.

In fact, as a nine-year-old, one of Dr Pajouhesh’s teeth was so badly rotted he needed a root canal.

However, the dentist failed to make the tooth numb enough, and succeeded in causing damage. Dr Pajouhesh says he still remembers every sensation.

Unsurprisingly, Dr Pajouhesh spent his teenage years extremely dentist-phobic. But in spite of this he elected to pursue a dentistry career.

“I wanted to confront my own demons and choose a career where, without wanting to sound clichéd, I felt like I could make a difference.

“And having gone through the experience that I’d gone through as a pre-teenager, I knew dentistry would be an area where I could make certain decisions in my own career that would ensure no child or adult goes through what I went through.”

If you can identify with feeling anxious about visiting the dentist rest assured that treatment today has come a long way from the archaic techniques used by dentists in the past.

At Smile Solutions, our main objective is to ensure you have a positive and pleasant experience during your visit.

One of the ways in which Smile Solutions can help combat your fear of the dentist is to recommend sedation dentistry (or “sleep dentistry”), which will allow you to feel more relaxed and at ease.

Sedation dentistry involves the administering of a sedative, either intravenously or via a mask. The treatment induces a drowsy and dream-like state and you will have no memory of your dental procedure afterwards. At Smile Solutions, you will be cared for by a Board registered specialist anaesthetist for all sleep and sedation dentistry.

Alternatively, if you are particular anxious, appropriately administered nitroxide (laughing gas) and liquid diazepam (Valium) are available.

If you are nervous about visiting the dentist for an upcoming dental visit, here are some ways to curb your anxiety:

  • Share your fears with your dentist, specialist or hygienist, or the Smile Solutions reception staff when you make your initial appointment. Expressing your concerns will let your dentist adapt the treatment to your needs, and they may recommend sleep dentistry.
  • Focus on breathing regularly and slowly during your dentist appointment. When you are nervous you tend to hold your breath, which decreases oxygen levels and can further increases feelings of panic.
  • If the sound of the drill bothers you, bring your iPod so you can listen to some music as a distraction. Smile Solutions also has digital screens and DVD players in each of our treatment rooms, and a choice of movies or latest music DVDs, which will allow you to lose all sense of your surroundings.
  • Avoid caffeine before your appointment as this will elevate your heart rate and potentially contribute to your anxiety.

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*The contents of this blog post are of a general nature only and may not apply to your specific circumstances. As every person is different we always recommend that you visit a qualified dental practitioner to obtain tailored dental advice to suit your own specific needs.

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