If you’ve fallen behind on your dental visits, starting routine care now can help you avoid pain and costly treatments down the track.
3 minute read
Regular dental visits are important for helping you to maintain good oral health and overall health throughout life, but if it’s been a long time since you visited the dentist, you’re not alone.
According to the latest National Study of Adult Oral Health, just over half of Australian adults (56%) saw a dentist within the last 12 months, with 11% saying they haven’t visited for five years or longer.
People delay or avoid dental appointments for different reasons. Visiting a dentist regularly allows them to spot early signs of a problem before they become more difficult and costly to treat. Whether you’re nervous about the dental experience or you’re worried about the cost, let our gentle team at Kelmscott Dental know about your situation and voice your concerns so we can put your mind at ease and help you get the care you need.
Coping with Dental Fear
Listen as Dr Abraham talks about coping with dental fear and his approach to helping Kelmscott Dental’s patients feel comfortable during their appointment.
Will my treatment hurt?
If you have a toothache, sensitivity or another problem, delaying professional care will only prolong your existing pain. If you’ve been avoiding dental treatments because you’re fearful of pain or discomfort involved, we can offer a range of coping strategies to help put your mind at ease.
- Communication techniques
- Distraction techniques
- Relaxation exercises
- Sedation options
Our team of dental professionals are experienced with treating nervous patients and take the time to listen to your needs.
Calling ahead to discuss your dental fear enables the team to better prepare for your visit. For example, if there are certain stimuli in a practice setting (smells, sights or sounds) that have triggered anxiety in the past, informing us when you book can help to avoid them and prepare any alternatives. Simple communication techniques include:
- Asking our team questions and advising any triggers
- Having our team explain your treatment process to avoid uncertainty
- Booking a quiet time or an early appointment to avoid anticipation
- Agreeing on a hand signal to take a break during your appointment
At Kelmscott Dental, we encourage patients to use distraction to help keep them calm and relaxed. We offer ceiling-mounted televisions in our surgery rooms and pillows and blankets on request.
You may also like to bring a set of headphones to listen to music, a podcast or your favourite TV series, we’re more than happy to accommodate you. Just let us know.
You might also distract yourself by squeezing a stress ball or bringing someone along to your appointment for emotional support.
Another simple technique that may help alleviate dental fear or anxiety is a relaxation exercise before your appointment:
- Guided imagery to encourage positivity
- Meditation to clear your mind
- Progressive muscle relaxation exercises where you focus on progressively releasing muscle tension from your head down to your toes
At Kelmscott Dental, we use local anaesthesia or numbing gel to block pain during treatments. Other sedation methods may also be used in addition to local anaesthesia to help you reach the right comfort levels and keep you calm and relaxed during your appointment. These include:
- Oral sedatives
- Happy gas (inhalation sedation)
- Sleep dentistry (intravenous sedation)
- General anaesthesia
What to expect during your visit
Dentistry advances like any other field, and modern equipment and minimally-invasive techniques have improved the patient experience from what you may have been used to in the past.
Our dentists care about your oral health and wellbeing – not passing judgement or pressuring you into unnecessary treatment. Whether you’re visiting us for a check-up and clean, because you’re worried about a toothache or you need an emergency dentist, it’s our goal to make your experience a positive one.
When you book your first visit, we’ll make sure you know what to expect on the day. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns so we can make appropriate preparations for your visit.
When you arrive, you’ll be asked to complete a medical history form and advise of any prescription medications. You’ll be introduced to your experienced dentist who will discuss any problems or concerns you have. We will then conduct a thorough examination of your teeth, gums and mouth, take radiographs to see what’s going on underneath the gums and then introduce you to our hygienist for a professional scale and clean to remove plaque and calculus that may have built up over time.
If we think your oral health could benefit from a treatment, we’ll explain all of your options, the processes they involve and provide an estimate on costs, so you can decide what’s best for you.
Payment Plans for Dental Costs
If the cost of treatment has stopped you from seeking dental care in the past, ask us about interest-free payment plans with Zip, Openpay and AfterPay. These flexible payment plans help to break down the cost of treatment, allowing you to access dental care when you need it.
Kelmscott Dental is also a SuperCare provider and can help you apply for early release of super to pay for large treatment plans for yourself, your partner or child. Dental treatments covered under SuperCare include:
- Dental implants
- Gum disease treatment (periodontics)
- Oral surgery
- Root canal therapy
- Teeth straightening
Book an appointment with our sympathetic dentists in Kelmscott
Although we love to see familiar faces, we often see patients who haven’t visited a dentist for 10 years, 20 years or longer. In many cases, their oral health isn’t as bad as they expected and they are happy to start seeing our dentists on a regular basis for check-ups and preventive care.
If it’s time you saw a dentist, or you want to know more about our team, our clinic and our treatments, book a consultation at Kelmscott Dental today. Call our friendly team on (08) 9495 7999 or book online. We welcome patients from all nearby suburbs including Armadale and Gosnells.
- Chrisopoulos S, Luzzi L & Ellershaw A 2019. Dental Care. P97-124. In: ARCPOH. Australia’s Oral Health: National Study of Adult Oral Health 2017–18. Adelaide: The University of Adelaide, South Australia.