Overcoming Dentophobia – A Fear Of The Dentist

An enormous number of adults all over Australia are terrified of the dentist. If you are struggling with Dentophobia, Albany Dental want to show you some ways to overcome your fears.


Why are some people afraid of the dentist?

There are a few reasons why people might be afraid of the dentist, even some of the friendly team at Albany Dental have some dental fears!

● Firstly, they may have had a bad experience as a child, which has left them reluctant to go again. Pain, bad manners or nagging can all lead children to hate the dentist.

● Secondly, they may have been taught to fear the dentist by the way their parents acted. Children can often be subconsciously influenced by parental fears.

● Thirdly, you do your best, but your teeth seem prone to enamel loss and chipping. This is not rare, and your dentist may be able to find ways to help you that don’t involve fillings or extractions.


Meet your dentist

If you want to start breaking your phobia, then you can meet with the local Albany Dental team. Getting comfortable with the space and learning to trust your dentist can really help to ease your fears.


Accept your fears

We understand you might be afraid, so we can help you by encouraging you to communicate. If you ever start feeling afraid, or you experience pain or anxiety during treatment by the hygienist or the dentist, simply let us know, and we can stop whenever you like.


Help us decide your treatment

One thing which can really ease your dental phobia is having more control. This means that you can talk to us about your treatment, including the instruments that will be used and alternatives. If you don’t like needles, then you may want to talk to your dentist about alternatives that will make this more pleasant for you.


Find a dentist that is sympathetic

If you have had a bad experience with a former dentist, it can be hard to put your trust in others. However the Albany Dental team is experienced and we are a well-established Gosford dental clinic that is willing to help you overcome these fears.

Learn how you can do it today by sending us a message or talk to us on (02) 4324 1181 now.

COVID-19 Update May 2020

To our patients (and friends!),

GOOD NEWS! We can see patients for their regular check-ups and cleans once more!

Now that the Australian Government and Australian Dental Association have advised us it is safe to do so, we are now back to operating under normal conditions.

For the month of June onwards, we are aiming to be back to our usual opening hours/days (during COVID-19 lockdown we were only open 2-3 days a week for emergencies). Unfortunately, over the last few months many people have had to defer their regular appointments; we would recommend you ring to organise an appointment ASAP so as to avoid a long wait.

We will continue to screen all patients for COVID-19, and ask you to please defer any appointments if you are feeling unwell, or have come in to close contact with anyone who is under investigation for, or has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Our strong infection control policies remain in place, and we will always uphold rigorous cleaning and sanitising procedures.

We would like to thank all of our staff and patients for their tolerance during this pandemic and co-operating with the guidelines we had set before us. As always, our focus is on our patients and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to phone our friendly team.

Keep smiling,

Cassie Watts

Practice Manager


Flossing is an important part of your daily brushing routine at home. It removes food particles that your toothbrush just can’t access. Flossing not only improves your breath, it reduces decay and keeps your teeth looking their absolute best.

If you find floss difficult to use, there have been alternatives designed to make life a lot easier. For example, Piksters. They are interdental brushes that come in all different sizes to cater for everyone. Otherwise there are floss holders that make it easy to hold onto the floss instead of wrapping around the tooth.

By flossing once a day, preferably at bedtime, you will reduce your cavity rate and also help to prevent gum disease. Also, be gentle when flossing to avoid inflamed gums. If you experience bleeding gums, this is an indication of bacteria present, so gently massage gum line with a soft toothbrush. It’s an essential daily exercise that will keep your teeth and gums healthy in between your routine dental examinations every six months.

It is also very important to floss whilst you have braces. There are alternatives that can assist you such as Super floss, Piksters etc. If you neglect to floss you can develop gum disease, and be susceptible to sensitive, red and swollen gums. Healthy gums will also assist in the progress of your orthodontic treatment.

How to floss:

  1. From the dispenser, pull approximately 30 centimetres of dental floss.
  2. Fasten the ends of the floss around your middle and index fingers.
  3. Pull the floss tight around each individual tooth in a C shape, move the floss back and forward gently, being careful not to saw the gum however in a pull-push and up-down movement against each tooth.

Please take care of your pearly whites by implementing this necessary task into your dental routine at home.

COVID-19 Update 30th April, 2020


To our patients (and friends!),

Further to my previous letter in March, I wanted to give you another update regarding the COVID-19 situation.

As you may be aware, the Australian Government and Australian Dental Association have advised us that they have dialed back their restrictions from Level 3 to Level 2. This is a promising sign and we hope that we can return to normal in due course.

What does level 2 mean?

It means we can continue to see you and your family for treatment of large fractures and pain management as we have been doing so during this pandemic. It also means we can do other restorative procedures using the correct equipment. The key principle is the provision of treatments that are unlikely to generate aerosols. When aerosol-producing procedures are undertaken, a dental dam will be used. This is to help reduce the risk of community transmission of Coronavirus.

Is it safe to come to the dentist?

Very safe. In addition to the already high standards of infection control already in place, we have introduced further policies to ensure our staff and patients’ health is of the utmost priority. For more information on these measures, please check our website for the previous COVID-19 updates.

When can I book in for my regular check-up?

We are tentatively booking patients in for June; however, it is hard to predict when restrictions will lift. As such if necessary, our staff will phone you to let you know about these appointments and we can push back the appointments a few weeks and you won’t lose your spot. We anticipate there may be a high demand for appointments once restrictions are lifted, so we encourage all our patients to book early to avoid disappointment.

How will we keep you updated?

We will endeavour to regularly update our website and social media channels throughout this time. We will also email our patients once normal operations are underway at the practice.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to phone our friendly team.

Keep smiling,

Cassie Watts

Practice Manager


I wanted to give you another update regarding the services we are providing at Albany Dental during the COVID-19 situation.

Dentistry is considered an essential service, so the surgery will remain open. During the lock down we will only be allowed to provide “essential dental procedures”. These include:

  • certain fillings
  • tooth fractures
  • relief of pain
  • tooth aches
  • urgent extractions
  • dentures
  • other limited treatments.

If uncertain, please call us for clarification. Don’t leave a problem to get worse.

This also means for the time being we are temporarily discontinuing routine check-up and cleans, and any non-urgent work including but not limited to: minor fillings, cosmetic work and crown/bridge work.

In this fluid environment we cannot guarantee the days we will have appointments available; however, it is our aim to have a dentist here available for you as regularly as we can. Please call us and we will accommodate you as soon as possible.

In addition to the already high standards of infection control already in place, we have introduced the further policies:

  • Each patient is responsible for swiping their own health fund card through HICAPS (with direction from staff).
  • No cash payments will be accepted until otherwise advised. Card and contactless payments only.
  • We will ask patients to remain in their car prior to their appointment, and call our reception to notify them of your arrival. Following this, a staff member will call when a practitioner is available to see you. This is to reduce social contact in the waiting room and common areas.

We are taking every step to make it as safe as possible for you to continue seeing us and endeavour to keep you updated throughout this situation.

If you are concerned about anything, please give our friendly staff a call. We are part of your community and we think of you as our extended family. If you need anything in this time, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Please check out our website and Facebook page for any further updates.


Practice Manager

Important information regarding COVID-19

In line with guidelines from the Australian Government and the Australian Dental Association, Albany Dental would like to keep our patients up-to-date with how we are managing the current COVID-19 outbreak.

We have two points we would like to mention today.

First and foremost, We would like to remind our patients that Albany Dental has always had the highest infection control standards and we continue to maintain and adapt these as more information is released about COVID-19. We are well stocked with masks, gloves and antibacterial cleaning products despite global shortages. We will continue to ensure the safety of and protect all staff and patients.

• All surfaces within the practice including reception and waiting room will be disinfected every hour.
• We have also removed all magazines and toys from the surgeries and waiting room as precautionary measures.
• Hand sanitiser will be made available for our patients to use during and after their visit.
• A pre-treatment hydrogen peroxide mouth rinse will be supplied at the start of every appointment to every patient to minimise cross-contamination.
If in doubt, we suggest staying home. It is essential that we all work together to try to minimise the spread of this pandemic.

Secondly, we ask that if you have been overseas, or in close contact with someone who has been overseas, that you observe the Government’s mandatory 14-day self-isolation requirement. Please call us to defer your appointment until after that time period.

We also ask that regardless of your travel history, if you have flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, widespread body aches, sore throat, stuffy/runny nose, vomiting or diarrhoea that you phone us to defer your appointment until you have been 100% well for 48 hours or have had a negative Coronavirus test.

If you have questions, it is best to call your GP or Healthdirect on 1800 022 222.

We thank everyone for their understanding in this unprecedented time.

Albany Dental

Welcome Dr Leazelle Graham!

Dr Leazelle Graham

Dr Leazelle Graham will be joining us in 2020! We are so excited to have Dr Graham on board with us, and we know our patients will love her warm personality. You may see her popping in late this year to meet some patients and get a feel for the place. We know you’ll make her feel most welcome!

Due to having Dr Graham on board, we are now able to open on Fridays, as of 2020! She will be working alongside Katrina Mujana to accommodate your Friday appointment requests. Book online or call us on (02) 4324 1181 to secure your appointment.

Christmas/New Year Closures

We wish all our patients a wonderful festive season with their families and friends. Our closure dates are above. Make sure you get your appointments booked in early to avoid disappointment!

Colgate Bamboo Toothbrushes – now in stock!

We take our recommendations to our patients very seriously, so we sent our Senior Dental Assistant Shanyn home with Colgate’s new Bamboo Toothbrushes to road test. This is what she found.

“I was a little skeptical about the Colgate Bamboo Toothbrush, as I’ve tried other brands of bamboo tooth brushes in the past and found that the bristles splayed very easily and the bamboo had a funny taste. With this new bamboo toothbrush from Colgate, I found the brush had no bad taste and didn’t rub or stick against my cheek. The bristles were soft and didn’t fray. What I also love about these Colgate toothbrushes is that the bamboo is sustainably grown and sourced and each brush is coated in beeswax to help improve its durability against water. It has now been over a week since I started using the Bamboo Toothbrush and I am happy to say I will be making the switch to this eco-friendly brush from now on.” Shanyn – Senior Dental Assistant.
Colgate Bamboo Toothbrushes are now for sale in the practice at a cost of $5.50.

Why is saliva important?

Image: Bigstock.com

Saliva plays an important role in maintaining good oral health.

Key roles of saliva include:

  • Lubrication
    • Tissues of the mouth are strongest, the most effective and most comfortable when they are wet. Saliva lubricates the tissues and teeth keeping the mouth comfortable throughout the day and night.
  • Digestion
    • Saliva contains enzymes that aid in the processing of food before it reaches the stomach and allows for food to be lubricated and “mashed” making it easier to be broken down during digestion.
  • pH buffering
    • Saliva contains pH buffers and aids in raising the pH of the mouth back to a more neutral state (pH of 7).
  • Washing
    • Saliva dilutes and washes away food debris from the mouth keeping the teeth free of unnecessary build up between brushing.
  • Anti-bacterial and anti-microbial
    • Anti-bacterial and anti-microbial agents in the saliva slow down the development of cariogenic (decay causing) bacteria in the mouth.
  • Remineralisation
    • Minerals contained in the saliva such as calcium and phosphate allow demineralised (tooth surface that has been softened or chemically altered) areas on the teeth to remineralise and harden.

A dry mouth or lowered saliva flow is known as xerostomia and is not necessarily a condition but a symptom or side effect and may be either permanent or transient. There are several factors that may affect saliva flow, these include but are not limited to; systemic disease (such as Sjogren’s Syndrome, Parkinson’s disease diabetes and many others), medication, dehydration, blocked salivary ducts or salivary stones, radiation of salivary glands, smoking, sleep apnoea (use of a CPAP machine).

Products are available such as mouth sprays, toothpaste, mouth rinses and oral gel that aim to promote or replace the saliva. The ingredients in these products aim to replicate some of the roles of natural saliva in the mouth and increase a person’s comfort.