September 13, 2023

How To Calm Dental Fear and Anxiety Before Getting All-on-4® Dental Implants

A visit to the dentist can be an anxiety-inducing experience for many people. But when it comes to procedures such as the All-on-4® treatment, those nervous jitters can feel even more overwhelming.

Dental fear and anxiety can make it challenging to get a new smile with the All-on-4® treatment; however, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Whether it’s the thought of the procedure itself, worries about feeling uncomfortable or memories of past dental nightmares, we have plenty of tips to help ease those fears.

In this article, we’ll discuss the reasons for dental fear and anxiety, how to handle dental anxiety and what you can expect from the compassionate Next Smile Australia team during your All-on-4® treatment.

Common Reasons for Dental Fear and Anxiety

In Australia, dental fear and anxiety affect 16% of adults and 10% of children, but what exactly is it and what causes it?

Dental anxiety is fear or stress associated with visiting the dentist. Individuals who are scared of visiting the dentist can delay or avoid dental treatment altogether.

If you fear needles, drills or just the thought of the dental clinic, it can trigger dental anxiety. However, when dental anxiety is severe and causes an irrational fear resulting in avoiding the dentist, it’s classified as a dental phobia.

Signs and symptoms of dental anxiety include

  • Sweating
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Low blood pressure and possible fainting
  • Crying or signs of panic
  • Using humour or aggression to mask anxiety

So, what are the common reasons people have dental fear and anxiety?

Fear of pain

One of the many reasons people experience dental anxiety is a fear of pain.

This could be from a past painful dental experience or hearing about a painful experience from a family member or friend.

Fear of needles or injections

A fear of needles or injections is very common in Australia, with 22% of people having the fear and actively avoiding medical treatments that involve needles. The fear of needles or injections is usually related to the feeling of the injection or the thought of the needle itself.

Fear of anaesthesia side effects

Common side effects of anaesthesia include dizziness, nausea and numbness of the mouth and lips. These side effects can result in dental anxiety as patients are worried about what will happen to them once they’ve had an anaesthetic.

While the side effects wear off quickly, it’s still a reason many people avoid visiting the dentist when they know they’ll need anaesthetic.

Fear of feeling helpless

Another common reason for dental fear and anxiety is the feeling of not being able to see or know what’s happening while in the dental chair.

For some patients, this can leave them feeling vulnerable due to the uncertainty.

Ways to Handle Dental Anxiety

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If you have dental anxiety that prevents you from visiting the dentist, all hope is not lost.

You may ask yourself, “How to handle dental anxiety?” Thankfully, there are many things you can do to help ease your fear of the dentist and get the necessary treatment.

Talk with your dentist about your worries

By speaking to your dentist about your worries and fears, they can develop a customised plan for your treatment to make you feel more comfortable.

If you fear not being in control at the dentist, you can ask them to explain every step of the treatment while you’re in the chair.

Find the right dentist

To help overcome your fears and anxieties, you need to find a dentist who is compassionate and specialises in accommodating nervous patients.

One of the best ways to find a dentist that will suit you and your needs is to read reviews from other patients. Finding the right dentist is the first step to getting you back in the chair.

Take someone with you

Having a family member or close friend accompany you to your appointment can provide the emotional support you need to reduce your anxiety.

Practice relaxation techniques

If you get stressed on your way to your appointment or while in the waiting room, relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation or progressive muscle relaxation, can help.

Visualisation techniques

Another way to ease your nerves and distract you during your appointment is to visualise yourself in a calm and relaxing place.

While in the chair, think of your happiest place and picture yourself there. Before you know it, you’ll be so distracted you won’t be worried about the procedure anymore.

Ask about sedation options

Some dentists provide sedation options, such as laughing gas or oral sedatives.

If you think sedation is the best way to help you relax during your appointment, you can ask your dentist if they provide it when booking your appointment.

Visit the dental clinic beforehand

If your dentist appointment is coming up, you can ask to schedule a visit beforehand to familiarise yourself with the clinic.

Seeing the clinic and meeting the staff can help reduce your fear of the unknown and show you what you can expect when going for your treatment.

Consider therapy

If you have severe dental phobia, a common way to manage it is to see a therapist.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy or exposure therapy with a therapist specialising in treating dental fear and anxiety can effectively reduce your fears.

How Next Smile Australia Helps Keep Patients Calm

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At Next Smile Australia, we do everything possible to ensure our patients are comfortable and calm before and after the All-on-4® treatment.

Our industry-leading Super Clinics, where All-on-4® surgeries take place, are designed to provide the highest level of care. Due to this, our patients are given the confidence and assurance that the procedure is safe, professional and highly regulated.

At Next Smile Australia, patient care and comfort is our top priority. So, you can have peace of mind knowing that when you come in for your All-on-4® surgery, we won’t begin until you feel comfortable, relaxed and safe.

All-on-4® Dental Implants at Next Smile Australia

If you’re considering talking to Next Smile Australia about the All-on-4® procedure and dental care but have dental fear and anxiety, we understand.

At Next Smile Australia, we do everything possible to minimise your fear and anxiety surrounding your All-on-4® treatment. Thankfully, your All-on-4® surgery is minimally invasive and finished within a day.

Stage one of the treatment involves removing any teeth and inserting four implants (into either the upper or lower jawbone) to support your new bridge of teeth. This can all be done under general anaesthesia or with sedation. Once your jawbone has fused to the implants (between three to six months), you’ll be back for your final bridge of new teeth. It’s that simple!

To learn more about All-on-4® or how our compassionate dental surgeons can make the treatment comfortable, contact Next Smile Australia today.

We’re ready to help you on your journey to a new smile!