Dental Fears & Anxious Patients | Mount Lawley Dental

Anxious Patients in Mount Lawley

Is a fear of the dentist stopping you from seeking routine dental care? High dental fear is more common than you might think and is thought to affect every 1 in 7 Australian adults and 1 in 10 children.

The experienced team at Mount Lawley Dental offer a range of coping strategies and sedation options to help you regain confidence in your dental health and stay in control of it. Find out how we can help you manage and overcome your fear of the dentist.

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Anxious Patients

Talking through Dental Anxiety

Dental fears or anxiety can develop for many reasons. Most commonly, people may have a fear of the unknown or may anticipate pain at the dentist. However, fear can also be caused by:

  • past dental experiences
  • past trauma of loved ones in a dental or medical setting
  • other traumatic experiences, including abuse or post-traumatic stress disorder
  • a history of neck or head trauma
  • generalised anxiety or other mental health conditions

Talking through the reasons for your anxiety with our team before you sit down for treatment, can help you and your dental practitioner plan the best way to manage it. Making a plan for fear can help you to avoid triggers that may cause fear and keep you informed and in control of the experience.

Breaking the Cycle

Regular dental check-ups allow the dentist to spot early signs of an issue before it turns into a larger (and costly) dental problem. Delaying or avoiding routine dental visits can leave a small problem untreated and less manageable, which in turn can cause poor oral health.  

When dental care is eventually sought after, the person is already in a state of pain and heightened anxiety. This state can often reinforce feelings of guilt for not seeking care sooner and increase anxiety, creating a terrible cycle of fear and pain.

Our friendly and gentle team of dentists and hygienists at Mount Lawley Dental are here to help you break the cycle by planning for fear to make sure you receive care in a calm and comfortable state.

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Dental Anxiety Stops Here

Our team can help you manage and overcome your dental fear by using a variety of coping strategies that put you back in control of your oral health.

At Mount Lawley Dental, dental anxiety stops here with us. We’ll tailor your visit to make sure you can reach the right comfort levels to receive care both calmly and confidently:

  • Communication
  • Relaxation
  • Distraction
  • Sedation

Read our blog 8 Tips for Overcoming Dental Fear. to larnmore about the strategies used.


  • Call ahead to inform us and ask questions
  • Book an early appointment time to avoid anticipation
  • Talk through what’s causing your fear or anxiety
  • Advise us of any triggers (needles, noises, smells) so we can plan to avoid them
  • Establish a hand signal to take regular breaks
  • Ask about tailoring your treatment plan to break up the time in the chair or book a long appointment for fewer visits overall.

We’ll keep you informed throughout your appointment, explaining every step of the way to make sure you’re comfortable.

Mount Lawley Dental treats anxious patients


Gentle dentist, Dr Darren Cai sees patients at both Mount Lawley Dental and our sister practice EVP Dental in East Vic Park.

Watch as Dr Cai explains his tips to help patients prepare for their visit:

  • Deep breathing exercises before and during your appointment
  • Progressive muscle relaxation for slowly releasing tension from the body
  • Meditation to clear your mind before treatment
  • Guided imagery to visualise happy thoughts


Distraction techniques can help take your mind off unhelpful thoughts during your visit, they include:

  • Listening to music, a podcast with headphones to drown out clinic sounds
  • Watching a program or series on the ceiling-mounted TV.
  • Squeezing a stress ball or occupying your hands with an object
  • Bringing a friend along for support
 Anxious patient and dental fear


If the above strategies haven’t worked for you in the past, ask us about sedation options for treatment:

  • Numbing gel
  • Oral sedatives
  • Inhalation sedation (happy gas)

We also refer extremely anxious patients to our sister practice, EVP Dental in East Victoria Park if they’re considering sleep dentistry for their dental treatment, and can arrange for patients to have treatment with a qualified anesthetist under general anaesthesia at Southbank Day Surgery in South Perth.

 happy gas

Don’t Wait for Pain

The first step toward seeking dental care can take time and courage. When you’re ready to regain confidence in your oral health, we’ll be ready to support you.

Don’t wait for pain to take hold, get in touch with the team today to see how we can tailor your visit to help you receive the care you need to put your smile first.

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