Nervous/ Anxious patients

Nervous or Anxious Patients

Dental anxiety is being nervous and afraid either in the dental surgery, or even at the thought of going to the dentist.

It exists in many forms, from simply being a little on edge to feeling completely overwhelmed.

At VC Dental, our experienced and understanding team have successfully treated many anxious patients. We take the time to understand your fears and concerns, so we can tailor treatment to reduce or eliminate your anxiety. Our goal is to make you feel as comfortable as possible, and in control of your appointments. We will happily answer any of your questions, and discuss all aspects of your procedures, so you feel informed and prepared. You can also stop for breaks as needed during treatment.

We provide a calm and supportive environment where you will be looked after from the moment you arrive in our care.

If the thought of dental treatment makes you anxious, you may like to consider sedation dentistry to help your treatment pass in comfort. We have a range of sedation options available (sleep dentistry IV sedation, oral sedatives, and inhalation sedation), and we will work with you to find which option will suit you best.

Dental anxiety can cause some patients to put off visiting the dentist for routine preventative care, or even if they are suffering from a dental problem. Preventative care is important for both your oral health and overall health. It also allows for the early detection of any problems so they can be prevented or treated in the initial stages. This usually means less invasive, and less expensive treatment. Likewise, dental problems rarely get better on their own. Delaying intervention can cause the problem to get worse, which can require more complex dental treatment (and may cause the patient to remain in unnecessary pain).

Whatever the reason for your anxiety, our sympathetic team will work with you so you can receive the treatment you need with as little stress as possible.

A strong gag reflex is another reason that patients may delay treatment. It’s important that patients know this is a normal occurrence, and it’s nothing to be worried or embarrassed about. We will discuss this with you at your appointments to find a solution that works for you. Often we can successfully use inhalation sedation (‘happy gas’) to reduce the sensitivity of gag reflexes during treatment.

Suggestions to help deal with dental anxiety

Here are some of the ways we can help alleviate dental anxiety:

  • Get to know your practitioner(s) first. We provide consultations where you will be given the time to discuss your history, concerns and questions with your dentist, so we are aware of what makes you anxious. Hopefully this will help us build your trust in our care before we begin treatment.
  • Request detailed information. For some patients, knowing each step of procedures can make them feel more in control and at ease. If this will assist you, we will happily explain these details.
  • Bring some support. We will happily allow a relative or friend sit in the surgery with you if this will make you feel more comfortable.
  • Take breaks. You are welcome to take breaks as needed during treatment. We can discuss a simple hand signal ahead of time so you can let us know if you would like a rest.
  • If music is something that keeps you calm, you are welcome to bring a phone or iPod/music player with headphones/earphones to your appointment, to help distract yourself and cancel out any noises that might concern you.


This information is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It should not be taken as personal, professional advice; nor treatment or diagnosis. Always seek professional advice from an appropriately qualified medical practitioner. Any invasive medical procedure carries risks.