dental anxiety, fear of the dentistDental anxiety, or fear of the dentist, is a very real condition that can make it difficult for people to prevent and treat dental issues. It can range from mild anxiety when attending a dental appointment through to debilitating fear that leads to people going for years without stepping foot inside a dental clinic. It is estimated that as much as one third of the population experience some form of dental anxiety.


Most of the time nervousness or fear of the dentist is caused by a traumatic past experience.

Sensitive teeth can also cause dental phobia, where even regular treatments like teeth cleaning can be uncomfortable and borderline painful for people with very sensitive teeth.

Fear of pain, loss of control and a phobia about needles are also all common causes of dental anxiety. Some people also find the noise of the dental drills or even the smell of the dental clinic are stress triggers.

Ways to Overcome Dental Anxiety

If you suffer from dental anxiety or dental phobia, tell your dentist or dental hygienist all about it. At McIntosh Dental our priority is to give you a positive dental experience and there are many options we can provide to make this happen. Sharing your concerns will allow us to navigate your anxiety triggers. Distractions, support people, establishing signals for pausing, and understanding what is happening at each step can all make your procedure less stressful.

If fear of pain is a major cause of anxiety, it is reassuring to know that the latest anaesthetic medicines will ensure your treatment is virtually painless. For standard teeth cleaning, numbing gel works quickly and is very effective at relieving teeth sensitivity. Local anaesthetics will be applied at the site for most restorative dental procedures, as it infiltrates into the soft tissues or nerves and numbs the area for a few hours.

We also offer dental sedation solutions for effectively managing dental anxiety. Also known as sleep dentistry, sedation is ideal for people who have anxiety or fear of visiting the dentist as it is one of the most relaxed and comfortable ways to have dental treatment completed. You can choose from oral sedation, nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or IV sedation, which put you in a state of relaxed consciousness. Although you will still be able to follow simple instructions, most people do not remember much about their appointment. Even extended appointments to undertake several procedures can be completed with ease and safety.

Please contact us if you suffer from dental anxiety – we can discuss options to help you manage this so you do not need to compromise your oral health.