Getting to the root of dentist-phobia

SMILE: It's normal to experience some reluctance to visiting the dentist.

SMILE: It's normal to experience some reluctance to visiting the dentist.

This article was sponsored by Primary Dental Port Macquarie.

Visiting the dentist is not exactly at the top of our list of favourite things to do. Dentist-phobia is common among children and adults alike, sometimes caused by a painful experience in the past. Other times it can be caused by a discomfort or vulnerability felt when the chair is tipped backwards.

Dr Khalil, at Primary Dental Port Macquarie, explains.

“Fear of dentists stems not so much from the experience of pain than from the lack of control that patients experience in the dentist's chair,” Dr Khalil explains. 

“You're lying back, a dentist is hovering above you, and they’re putting you in a situation where you can hardly talk or respond.”

Regardless of the reasons behind people’s reluctance, not visiting the dentist can be far more scary than visiting the dentist. Tooth decay, root canals and major dental surgery can all be required if trips to the dentist are avoided, which can have a serious effect on quality of life. 

Tooth decay is Australia’s most common health problem, but according to the Australian Dental Association (ADA), 90 percent of problems with teeth can be prevented.

It can be uncomfortable, but the alternative to going to the dentist - tooth decay - is far, far worse.

It can be uncomfortable, but the alternative to going to the dentist - tooth decay - is far, far worse.

Dr Khalil say his team pride themselves on making sure Primary Dental Port Macquarie offer a totally pain-free dental experience to ensure patients are comfortable. He says nervous patients should start by trying to find a dentist they trust to look after them, not just their teeth.

“Anyone, not just children, will always feel more comfortable once they know their clinician and trust them,” he says.

“That’s why it is imperative to take the time to get to know the patient and gain their trust before talking about teeth. We are treating people, so we want to know each patient on a personal level. This helps us to gauge the best treatment tailored to the individual.”

Dr Khalil says he also takes requests for music during appointments, much to the enjoyment of his patients. 

Listening to people and simple distraction techniques are also enormously successful in helping patients cope,” he says. 

But for those who can’t be soothed by smooth tunes or distractions, the team also offer conscious and oral sedation options complimentary with any treatment. 

This article is sponsored by Primary Dental Port Macquarie

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