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5 Things We Do To Help Anxious Patients

Know you need to see a dentist but you are too anxious? Here are five things we do to help anxious patients.

Hi, Dr James here form Elevate Dental from Hawthorn and Richmond in Melbourne.

We meet so many people who come in to see us who tell us that they are very anxious and scared when coming to the dentist. Let me assure you, what you’re feeling is perfectly normal, and there are many others who feel the same when they first come in.

We always use noise-cancelling headphones for all of our appointments. We found this has been the number one thing which has helped the majority of our patients feel extremely comfortable because they zone out to the music that they love best, or catch up on their favourite shows and movies on Netflix. And they basically can’t hear anything that’s happening around them. And that helps to really settle the nerves and makes time pass by a lot faster.

The friendly smiling faces you meet here and the personal care and service. We take care to make every person feel comfortable, from the time they walk into our clinic. If that means a hand to hold in the treatment rooms, if it means anything that you need, we will do it for you to make sure that you are comfortable and relaxed.

We have happy gas. This is so effective from anyone with mild anxiety to for our super, super anxious patients. Patients feel the calming effects of the happy gas almost immediately, and this can be used from anything as routine as a regular dental scale clean appointment, to more complex treatments. Best of all, the effects wear off as soon as treatment is finished, so you’re able to go about the rest of your day immediately. This service is available at the Hawthorn premises, and is really relieves any nerves and fears that you have. We are also able to prescribe calming medications to take prior to appointments for patients that need this.

We take the time to talk through things, to make sure all your questions are answered to your satisfaction, and that all your concerns are discussed before we go through the procedure. There is no need to feel rushed and we won’t proceed until the patient feels comfortable with everything. Sometimes some people need to take more time to process exactly what’s going to happen. They need more time than others. That’s OK, and we make sure that we provide that so that they don’t feel pressured and rushed into anything they are not ready for.

We listen. Now I think this is actually the most important thing when it comes to anxious patients because a lot of the time, people are anxious because of previous dental history. You know, dentists have hurt them in the past, caused pain. They didn’t listen and it takes time to rebuild that trust again, trust that we’re not going to do the same thing as the previous dentist.

We’re not going to cause pain, and know that we’re going to stop when you ask us to stop. And that we’ll really listen to what you are really, really scared of. For some patients that means that we have to detail exactly what’s going to happen at the next appointment before and tell them every step that we’re going to do, so that there are no surprises.

And for others, it just means that they’ll be like, “Doc, I’ll just zone out with my headphones. You do whatever you need to. And just tell me when you’re done.” So it’s a combination of approaches. And I think that it’s about catering to each individual patient and creating and building that relationship between the dentist and the patient so that we know exactly what you need in order to feel less anxious.

So those are the five ways we can help anxious patients feel relaxed and comfortable. If you haven’t seen a dentist for a long time, and you know you need some attention to your oral health, we would love to look after you. We are friendly, caring and compassionate. Why not give us a call at 1300 2 SMILE, send us a direct message on social media, or complete the enquiry form on our website at, and we will help you organise your appointment. We look forward to meeting you.

Note: All content and media on the Elevate Dental website and social media channels are created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice.


Services we mentioned:

Dental Anxiety

James Wong is a wonderful Dentist. The communication and patience through the procedure was first class.

James B


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James Wong is a wonderful Dentist. The communication and patience through the procedure was first class.

James B


What a professional and friendly team at Elevate Dental Richmond. Dr Judith’s infectious smile is matched only by her highly competent dentistry.
Richmond is lucky to have such a caring practice! Thanks guys.

Peter O


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