How to overcome your fear of the dentist

For most Australians, a trip to the dentist is not on their list of favourite activities. There are many reasons why people choose to avoid a dental visit. According to The Grattan Institute’s “Filling the Gap” report 2019 the two of the main factors for skipping the dentist are fear of the dental visit itself and the cost of treatment. 

We asked our dentists how they help anxious patients to feel more comfortable. As well, what techniques they use to ease their patients’ nerves so they can receive the dental care they need.

Explanations and expectations

Firstly, you might be surprised to learn most patients are a little anxious about going to the dentist. To combat this, our team are trained to look after you and make you feel as comfortable as possible.

The first thing you will notice as you walk through our practice door is everyone is inviting and will do their best to look after you.

If you are hesitant about the dental procedure, let your dentist know. They will always take the time to explain the treatment steps to you. Sometimes it helps you relax when you know exactly what to expect and what is happening. Our team is trained to carry out treatment in an unhurried and non-threating manner.

No judgement

In other cases, patients may not be fearful but embarrassed or ashamed to come in for an appointment. Usually this is due to the condition or look of their teeth. Rest ensured, our dentists are here to help, and you won’t be judged about how long it has been since your last dental appointment!

Our practitioners will listen to you and your concerns. Together, you will hopefully be able to work out a solution to make you feel more confident about your oral health. Our priority is to build up a great rapport with our patients and open communication is the key.

Distractions to make you feel more comfortable

Many of our practices also offer entertainment while you are in the dental chair. This often helps anxious patients to relax and feel more comfortable. Watching TV or listening to music can block out noises of dental treatments and help you to unwind. Please don’t hesitate to ask our staff about the available options.

Sedation dentistry

If you are still feeling very uncomfortable about dental treatment while being awake, our Burleigh Waters dentist Dr Norah Ayad offers dentistry under general anaesthetic. This means, you will be sedated and asleep during the procedure.

A Specialist Anaesthetist will administer the general anaesthesia and your treatment will take place in the operating theatres of the Gold Coast Private Hospital.

Read more about sedation dentistry on our treatment page.

Costs of dental visits

The Grattan Institute’s “Filling the Gap” report found around 15% of Australians skip the visit to the dentist due to disliking or fear of the service. However, the main reason for not attending regular dental visits are due to the cost.

Source: Grattan Inst Fig A.2  Get the data

Dental care is a health service that is not covered by Medicare for adults. The 2019 report of the Grattan Institute highlights the negative impact on dental care for Australians. The results propose that 18% of Australians (over 2 million) skipped or delayed a necessary dental visit due to cost.

And what can we do to address the fear of the costs of visiting the dentist? At Coastal Dental Care, we offer a preventative check-up and clean including x-rays, scale and fluoride for $125. This price is valid for all new and existing patients. Always.

If you are with a private health fund and have available dental extras cover, you won’t have any out of pocket costs for your check-up and clean. We will carry the price gap for you.

Regular visits

In general, it can be cheaper to come in for your regular 6 monthly check-up and clean appointment than wait for a problem to occur. Regular check-up and cleans help you stay on top of your oral health. This way, you can avoid issues turning into more extensive and costly restorative treatments.

Learn more about the benefits of regular dental visits and why it is important to attend regular check-up and cleans.

Payment plans

We offer Zip Pay, Zip Money and Afterpay payment plans at our Coastal Dental Care practices. This will help you to pay for your treatment in more manageable instalments.

Afterpay, for example, allows you to split your payment for a $125 check-up and clean into 4 fortnightly instalments of $31.25.

Find out more about our payment plans in our FAQ section.

Book an appointment today

Find a Coastal Dental Care practice near you and contact our friendly team. Alternatively, you can book an appointment online 24/7.

Data Sources:
Duckett, S., Cowgill, M., and Swerissen, H. (2019). Filling the gap: A universal dental scheme for Australia. Grattan Institute.

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