Overcoming dentophobia

The end of the year is often the busiest time of the year for dentists as people get their routine health maintenance in order before holidays and the New Year.

However, for others, a crippling fear of going to the dentist (dentophobia) prevents them from getting the necessary help they need to ensure their oral health.

As a community health service, we strive to deliver more than just state-of-the-art dental services – we pride ourselves on our caring, personal touch that considers the needs of the whole person, not just their oral requirements.

We know that if left unchecked, poor oral health can lead to serious health issues.  Plaque bacteria can flourish and attach to teeth and gums, causing decay that can require extensive restoration and cause bad breath. Untreated tooth decay can result in swelling and bleeding of the gums, and allowing growth of the bacteria.

While attending to oral health concerns, a dentist can alert the patient of other serious medical problems, including hypertension, diabetes and oral cancers.

Sarah*, came to Connect Health & Community needing significant dental treatment; however her dental phobia and multiple mental health issues posed a barrier to her receiving treatment.

On arriving at the dental clinic, Sarah was reluctant to attend her appointment, becoming uneasy and distressed as she entered the new facility.

Our caring team of reception and dental staff were able to put Sarah at ease by simply and compassionately explaining the procedures in a manner that built trust and addressed her fears.

Based on her understanding of the steps ahead and trust in the professionals treating her, Sarah became confident to attend all her appointments and was soon on her way to full dental health.

Not only did Sarah receive life-changing dental work, but her carer/sister Andrea*, recognised a significant improvement in Sarah’s oral health and self-confidence.

“The professionalism, empathy, compassionate care and gentle manner of this service made Sarah’s dental experience positive and my job as her carer, much easier,” Andrea said.

If you or a loved one suffers from dentophobia, Connect Health & Community’s caring team may be able to help you get the oral health maintenance you need to help keep you smiling.  

You can call Connect Health & Community on 03) 9575 5333 or find out more on our website.

 *Not her real name

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