How to have a good dental experience – some advice from Dr Amanda Leske (formerly Hales)
Dr. Amanda Leske(Hales) provides her second contribution to Robertson Dental Innovations Dentistry in Focus articles. In this article Dr. Amanda Leske(Hales) deals with some common concerns about visiting the dentist, particularly for younger patients.
Going to the dentist can be a stressful experience for some, but it doesn’t have to be this way! At Robertson Dental Innovations we take the time to discuss your dental care and the care of your children and ways to reduce your worries.
When surveyed, the top three things that concerned people about going to the dentist were:
- Fear of pain:- At Robertson Dental Innovations your comfort is our highest priority. We have multiple options for reducing pain and discomfort ranging from painless and computer controlled injection techniques and minimally invasive dentistry to sedation and general anaesthetic. For more information see our services page.
- Feeling of lack of control:- We will give you the knowledge and power to be in charge of your dental care! We provide a range of treatment options for you to consider and take the time to talk to you about the benefits and risks of each option, what to expect from your treatment and how to keep a healthy mouth for a lifetime.
- The cost:- At your first appointment we will provide you with a written treatment plan with expected costs and number of appointments so you are prepared for your treatment and there are no nasty surprises! We also bulk billed patients under Medicare’s Child Dental Benefits Schedule and Department of Veterans Affairs dental schemes.
Taking a child to their first dental appointment is also a concern for many parents. At Robertson Dental Innovations we have a very friendly team that is committed to making everyone feel comfortable about their dental visit. But you can help too! Here are my top tips for making sure your child will have a very positive dental experience:
- Try to have your child’s first dental experience visit between 1-2yrs old. This could be as simple as coming in to the practice to make your appointment with your child (rather than over the phone) or bringing your child to watch your dental check-up or the check-up of an older sibling. We can chat to you about how to look after their teeth while you have your check-up and they can get used to the environment. We will take the time to make your child feel comfortable and then when they return for their check-up they will have gotten used to the dental setting and they are usually excited about going for a ride in the chair!
- Try to be positive about the dentist and avoid negative words and phrases like “you have to be brave” or “it won’t hurt very much”. Instead, talk to your child about going for a ride in the chair, how the dentist will count their teeth and how they might get a sticker or a balloon. Role play with your child at home and take turns being the dentist and the patient and practice opening wide “like a tiger” and practice counting the teeth.
- Have regular check-ups yourself and let your dentist help you to make your mouth healthy. There is a link between untreated dental problems in adults and the development of dental problems in their children. Most of the time these problems are preventable so let the team at Dental Innovations help you avoid them.
- Use a dentist or dental therapist/hygienist you feel comfortable with and trust. When you are relaxed, your child will feel more relaxed as well. At Dental Innovations, all the dentists and oral health therapist are friendly, caring and experienced and put a lot of effort into making you and your child’s dental experience stress-free, thorough and fun!
- Avoid times of the day when the child is normally tired or grumpy, such as just before a nap or lunch. If the child is already not feeling 100% it can make even the smallest steps seem huge to the child. Generally the first appointment of the day is the ideal time for a child’s appointment.
About the Author
Dr Amanda Leske has had 6 years experience working in public, private and teaching clinics and has been with Dental Innovations for almost 5 years. She gained her Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons in 2012 and has recently been appointed a Lecturer in Dentistry at La Trobe University. Dr “Amanda” (as she is known by her child patients) can provide all aspects of general dentistry but has a particular interest in children’s dentistry.