Smile Consultation

Sleep Dentistry

Anxious about going to the dentist?

Imagine going to sleep in the dentist’s chair and waking up with a painless, beautiful smile!

At Dr Helen’s Dental & Implant Studio we provide a cost-effective, painless way to get your dental work done without fear or anxiety.

To see if sleep dentistry is right for you, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Helen.

Sharon's experience
How do you reduce dental anxiety
General Anaesthesia

General Anaesthesia

Top Rated Dentist

Top Rated Dentist

Slow and Gentle

Slow and Gentle

Payment Plans

Payment Plans

Treating Dental Phobia

If you’re looking for a dental phobia dentist in Melbourne, you’ve come to the right place. Dr Helen is an expert in dental anxiety and phobia treatment.

Dental anxiety is one of the most debilitating fears there is, because the longer you go without facing a dentist, the worse the problem can become. Dr Helen believes in creating a judgment-free, open space where you, the patient, is in control. She offers every option, explains every step along the way, and if at any time you feel uncomfortable, she lets you decide when you’re okay to continue. Schedule a consultation with Dr.Helen and put an end to the years of fear and suffering you’ve experienced.

Dr Helen feels so passionately about helping patients conquer their dental phobias, she wrote the following open letter to fearful patients. Please take a read.

Sleep Dentistry

“Sleep dentistry” or “Twilight sedation” is administered by a qualified anaesthetist who will administer IV sedation or general anaesthetic. You go to sleep, we do all the work, and wake you up when it’s all done. How much easier can it be? You will have a very enjoyable day. Most of the time, we can combine many treatments into just one session. However, as is the case with root canal treatment, crowns and implants, several sessions might be required. To be kind on your hip pocket, I usually advise to do follow up sessions under oral sedation, and most patients manage just fine this way.

What is the cost for sleep dentistry?

In addition to the fee for your dental treatment, an anaesthetist will charge for their service. Typically they charge anywhere from $700 – $850 per hour, so the total fee will be determined by the duration of the procedure.

Medicare Rebates on Sleep Dentistry

The good news is that if general anaesthetic is administered by a qualified medical anaesthetist, you will get a Medicare rebate for twilight dentistry. This can range anywhere from 15 – 80% of the total fee. A dentist who works closely with an anaesthetist, will help you estimate how much you are likely to be out of pocket. On average, for longer procedures, twilight dentistry will set you back $2,500 – $3,000.

Options for Dental Sedation

Dr Helen: More often than not, when a patient sits in my chair for the first time, by the end of the initial consultation, they typically feel calm enough to opt-out of sedation. Trust between a doctor and a patient can ease even the most troubled minds. So when you find a dentist who has your best interests at heart, you’ll know it.

However, sometimes light oral sedation is exactly what is needed. It could be an oral sedative pill such as Valium, Xanax, Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas), or the “green whistle”. One way or another these are all forms of light sedation which can help you alleviate some of your anxiety. However, you won’t be fully asleep. You will be aware of what’s happening around you. Many of my patients describe the sensation like, “I was awake and aware but it’s as if it didn’t bother me”.

Light sedation is a cost effective option that usually costs less than $100, and helps many of my patients. You will need to arrange someone you trust to drive you home as you will not be able to drive for the rest of the day. We also offer sleep dentistry under general anaesthetic, which is discussed in more detail in a below section.

I offer one-on-one consultations to discuss options, fears, and all aspects of a dental phobia to make sure you can comfortably visit the dentist for routine treatment.

Some helpful tips

  • Injections shouldn’t hurt if done patiently.
  • Schedule a consultation instead of a procedure. Sometimes just having a chance to talk to the dentist without the pressure of an exam or procedure can help rebuild trust.
  • Look into dentist anxiety medication. A light oral sedative can put you at ease before a procedure and can be budget-friendly. Dr Helen can recommend some medications.
  • Remember that Dr Helen can do twilight dentistry, also known as sleep dentistry, under general anaesthetic at her practice for the most phobic patients.

Symptoms of Dental Anxiety

If you are anxious about coming to the dentist, you may experience:

  • sweating
  • fast heart rate
  • possible fainting
  • distress and signs of panic

Fear of visiting the dentist is incredibly common. As many as 1 in 6 people have significant anxiety or fear about dental work. However, by not visiting the dentist for a long period, or missing dental check-ups and teeth cleans, you may end up needing an emergency visit. Most dental disease is preventable, so not attending can result in more complex and involved treatment when you do attend. This cycle usually results in even more anxiety and fear around visiting the dentist.

The causes of dental anxiety are often very specific to the individual. They may be a combination of physiological and psychological issues. Some patients may have anxiety around medical procedures more generally, such as a fear of needles, or the sound of drills.

Dental Anxiety
Dental Phobia

Dental Phobia

Dental Phobia is at the extreme end of fear of dental treatments. It often is the result of a previous traumatic dental experience. A phobia can be hard to overcome, but Dr. Helen is very experienced in helping clients to feel relaxed and comfortable, by taking it slow and gently, at a pace you can manage.

Dental Phobia can occur at any age, and often persists throughout life, unless it is addressed.

There are a range of techniques that can be used to assist you with dental phobia, which Dr.Helen will guide you through.

These include:

  • deep breathing and meditation
  • distraction and music
  • progressive muscle relation.
  • Oral anxiety relieving medications
  • Conscious sedation
  • General anaesthesia

If you suffer from dental anxiety or dental phobia, please get in touch, as we are very experienced in assisting patients work through the journey back to a happy smile!

COMMON QUESTIONS

Why You Should See Your Dentist Regularly?

My teeth are OK now. Why do I need to see you again?

Just because you’re not feeling any discomfort or symptoms, it doesn’t mean your teeth and gums will be given a clean bill of health. If it’s a while since you last visited a dentist, and you haven’t been observing stringent hygiene habits, then there’s a chance that there might be something we need to keep an eye on.

Dental disease, like heart disease, is silent. There are no symptoms until it’s in an advanced stage. However, detected early, dental disease can be halted and treated.

Regular preventive oral health examinations can indicate problem areas, and we can treat them before they become major, mitigating against future costs and saving you time in the long-run.

People say to me, “Dr Helen, I just can’t make this month’s appointment, I’m far too busy. Anyway, it’s only for my routine examination.” What they mean is it doesn’t matter. But it does matter. Attend your regular dental examination appointments as an essential treatment. It’s not just an exam. It’s taking control of your health.

Are You Anxious?

If you experience dental anxiety, you’re not alone. Many people feel nervous about seeing the dentist. You might have expectations about the visit, or perhaps remember dental visits you had as a child. The reality of a dental appointment is usually very different from the expectation you might have. In addition to light sedation and general anaesthesia, we utilise several relaxation techniques at the studio. At the end of their appointment, most patients say, “I haven’t felt a thing!”

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Many patients have a fear of needles. The reality is that the needle isn’t what’s painful. The discomfort comes from the fluid itself. I take it easy, slowly, gently, so there’s hardly any sensation. In fact, some of my most scared patients have asked me afterwards: “Was that it?” Another common concern can be the noise of the handpiece during procedures. It brings back bad memories for some. If you prefer to not hear it, you are welcome to wear earphones and listen to your favourite music. We have music playing throughout the studio, many patients find this soothing enough for them. Feel free to bring your own music in if you like.

If you wish to discuss your treatment with us, please give us a call on (03) 9510 5597

Are You in Pain?

If you are in pain, call our office immediately. We’ll ask you a couple of questions about the nature and location of the pain, then find you a suitable appointment at the earliest opportunity. The priority is always to have you pain-free as quickly as possible, and in the meantime, there are a number of self-help measures you can take to keep comfortable.

If You Have a Toothache:

Here are a few steps you can do at home to try to relieve the pain:

Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as Nurofen or Panadol (please make sure you are not allergic to either). However, be aware that you need to see me as soon as possible. If you mask the pain and ignore it, the infection can spread and could become very serious.

If the pain is caused by debris lodged in a cavity, washing the area may relieve the problem.

Floss your teeth, and then run a toothpick around the gum line. This may remove debris that’s lodged under the gum.

Putting an ice pack on your face over the area that hurts may relieve the pain. Apply the ice for 10 to 20 minutes of every hour, as necessary.

If you will be travelling on a plane, the change in pressure when the plane takes off or lands may make you feel less comfortable. You should see me before travelling by air.

If You Have a Broken Tooth:

If the tooth is sharp, you can temporarily use orthodontic wax or a sugar free chewing gum to cover sharp spots.

If an area is bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops.

Apply a cold compress to the cheek or lips over the broken tooth. This will help reduce swelling and relieve pain.

Take an over-the-counter pain reliever.

If Your Tooth Has Fallen Out (avulsed tooth):

If you have lost a tooth playing sport or as a result of some other trauma, the best thing to do is to suck it clean and reposition it back into the socket. Do not worry about infections as you will require antibiotics anyway.

Call us urgently on (03) 9510 5597. If you are unable to reposition the tooth in the socket, the tooth can also be placed in milk, however keeping the tooth inside the mouth (between cheek and gums) is best as the saliva will help preserve the tooth.

Do not rinse your mouth or tooth with water as this can damage the tooth.

Do you offer payment plans?

We sure do! Check out some of the options here or schedule a consultation with us today by ringing our receptionist at (03) 9510 5597. We can give you a comprehensive treatment plan with all costs and figures and give you the best payment plan options based on your individual needs.

Do you treat patients with dental phobias?

Absolutely. Dr Helen knows that a fear of the dentist can be debilitating. She offers one-on-one consultations to discuss options, fears, and all aspects of a dental phobia to make sure you can comfortably visit the dentist for routine treatment. Dr Helen’s Dental & Implant Studio is a judgment-free zone. If you have a dental phobia and would like a consult, please ring our receptionist at (03) 9510 5597, and they will get you started on a path to pain-free, worry-free dental health. For more information, check out Dr Helen’s Open Letter to Fearful Patients.

Welcome from Dr. Helen

Meet Dr Helen

More about Dr. Helen Implant Dentist BDSc (Melb)

Dr Helen opened up her Prahran East practice in 2008 after working across regional Victoria and gaining broad experience in emergency, surgical and cosmetic dentistry. Her aim has always been to provide gentle care with the highest quality outcomes for patients. She graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor degree in Dental Science, and later studied implant surgery at the Brener Implant Institute and Steigmann Implant Institute. Her work with implants has restored the smiles of countless patients over the years, even the ones who have lost all faith in their teeth.

The best thing about having a small practice? Dr Helen gets to see the patients from the first time they walk in the door to the final outcome, and provide care throughout their lives. The personal relationship she has with her patients means she puts care and consideration into the longevity of their dental treatment and not just the immediate results.

Dr Helen is the former chairperson of the National Dental Foundation Victoria and the official dentist for the Melbourne City Football Club.

In her spare time, Dr Helen dances ballroom and loves creating healthy recipes for her staff and friends. Her two rescue birds, Rocky and Roger, also enjoy her cooking! She’s an advocate for animal rights and promotes a whole-food, plant-based diet for health, ecological, and compassionate reasons.

Dr Helen

OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU

GENTLE & CARING

GENTLE & CARING

We offer the latest in pain-free procedures. Sleep dentistry also available.

EVERYTHING UNDER ONE ROOF

EVERYTHING UNDER ONE ROOF

Dr. Helen provides all treatment in-house, including general anaesthesia and surgical procedures.

PERSONALISED CARE

PERSONALISED CARE

Dr. Helen looks after you from the first consultation to the final result, guiding every step of the process.

FINEST CRAFTSMANSHIP

FINEST CRAFTSMANSHIP

Dr. Helen provides all implant treatment in-house, including general anaesthesia and surgical procedures.

EXCELLENCE IN DENTISTRY

EXCELLENCE IN DENTISTRY

We apply the latest in dental research, techniques and technology.

PAYMENT PLANS

We offer a range of payment plans and options for all of our services. These include DentiCare, MacCredit and MiFund.

DentiCare
MacCredit
MiFund

Book your Smile Consultation $97

Meet with Dr.Helen to have all your questions answered. There is no pressure or obligation to proceed.

What’s included:

  • Meet for an extended consultation with Dr. Helen to discuss your options
  • Full dental evaluation and oral cancer screening test
  • 2 x-rays included with your consultation
  • Comprehensive treatment plan, including duration and costs

Smile Consultation

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Book your Smile Consultation $97

Meet with Dr.Helen to have all your questions answered. There is no pressure or obligation to proceed.

What’s included:

  • Meet for an extended consultation with Dr. Helen to discuss your treatment options
  • Full dental evaluation and oral cancer screening test
  • 2 x-rays included with your consultation
  • Comprehensive treatment plan, including duration and costs

Free Smile Consultation

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Visit our Studio

Each Wednesday we host a small gathering for new patients considering complete teeth replacement.
Come along and meet Dr.Helen face-to-face, and have your questions answered over a hot tea or coffee.
Bookings essential (Wed: 5:30pm).

Australian Society of Implant Dentistry
Australian Dental Association