Dental Phobias And How Your Dental Team Can Make You Feel At Ease

Dental Phobias And How Your Dental Team Can Make You Feel At Ease

It was once a concern that was met with mockery, but research into it has shown it can have life-changing complications. And not in a good way. In this instance, the topic is dental phobias or aversions.

For most people, attending a biannual check-up is simply an inconvenience that they have to schedule into their daily life. But for a significant group of dental patients, it can cause feelings of fear, panic and many sleepless nights. Unfortunately, this can also lead to many patients delaying the necessary check-up which can heighten any issues that they may be experiencing.

But dental teams are working with psychologists to make a trip to the surgery more comfortable for patients who have these concerns. So when you visit your dentist Coorparoo for your check-up, they will aim to make you feel more at ease with one of the following options.


For patients who have a mild phobia, simply communicating with your dental team can be enough to assuage your fears. This starts with a non-clinical meeting where you can get to know your dental team and realise that they are human just like you. And that they will not judge or berate you. If when they are looking at your teeth you want them to stop or to take a break, you can discuss this with them. You may even be offered a longer appointment to fit in these required gaps.


If you are like many dental patients, it may be the sound of the drill that makes you nervous. In this instance, your dental team may be able to provide you with a headset so you can listen to music. Alternatively, you may be able to listen to your headset and perhaps a guided meditation or audiobook. Some dental surgeries even have television sets so you can watch the news while your dental team works on your teeth.

Nitrous oxide

Laughing gas or nitrous oxide has mostly been ruled out in dental surgeries, but a few are still able to offer it. This allows you to feel sedated and relaxed whilst you undertake your dental treatment. It is applied through a mask and will ensure that you do not feel any discomfort while your team provides fillings or crowns. Once the mask is off, you can go about your day as normal whilst having little recollection of the appointment.

Intravenous sedation

Intravenous or IV sedation is recommended for patients who have a more extreme dental phobia. It is administered through a needle into the arm and allows you to essentially pass out, but be conscious enough to respond to your dental team’s instructions, such as opening your mouth wider. If you are undertaking IV sedation, you will need to have a friend or family member with you to escort you home afterwards and you should refrain from driving or operating heavy machinery for at least 24 hours.

General anaesthesia

Some dental surgeries can refer patients to day centres in hospitals, where you can be given general anaesthesia. This will knock you out completely and much like the IV sedation, you need somebody to take you home afterwards and keep an eye on you. You are also advised to not drive or operate heavy machinery for 48 hours afterwards.


Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.