Anxious Patients in East Vic Park


A fear of the dentist is more common than you think. Every day we help people overcome longstanding fears, anxieties and even phobias of the dentist.

We do it by using communication, relaxation, distraction and sedation methods that help you stay in control of your oral health and address early signs of a problem before they get worse. Read about how the EVP Dental team can help you stay calm and confident for your upcoming appointment.

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What Causes Dental Anxiety?


There are a variety of causes for dental anxiety. For some patients it’s a fear of the unknown and for others it can be because of a past experience with a dentist or another trusted healthcare provider. Some other causes for dental fear or anxiety may include:

  • fear of pain
  • lack of control
  • loss of personal space
  • fear of needles
  • past trauma of loved ones in a similar environment
  • 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 to your dentist and explaining your past experiences and concerns can help you feel calm and avoid any triggers for your upcoming appointment.

 What causes dental anxiety

The Cycle of Dental Anxiety


Dental anxiety causes patients to put off treatment which consequently leads to poor oral health. When oral health deteriorates, treatment becomes complex and costly and may even cause a dental emergency. This experience can reinforce feelings of guilt or shame for not seeking care sooner and can end up exacerbating dental anxiety. A viscous cycle ensues.

The gentle and caring team at EVP Dental help you to break the cycle of dental anxiety, pain and guilt, allowing you to maintain control over your oral health. When you plan for dental anxiety, you’re able to receive treatment calmly and comfortably.

 Cycle of dental fear and anxiety

Nothing like your last experience


The dental profession has evolved over many decades, anxious patients who see us, will often find that their experience is nothing like their last one.      

By choosing an EVP Dentist you can expect an exceptional level of care, no matter how big or small treatment is. We take an empathetic approach to patient care and can offer a variety of methods to help you reach a calm and comfortable state.

If it’s been more than a decade since your last trip to the dentist, you’ll discover things have changed quite a bit. Modern technology such as EMS Airflow, 3D digital scanning and intraoral photography save time, provide better accuracy and also make for a more comfortable experience overall.

 Modern technology improves patient experiences

Helping Anxious Patients


We help patients overcome dental anxiety every day. By using a variety of methods, we can help anxious patients achieve the right comfort levels they need to receive care.

These strategies include:

  • Communication
  • Relaxation
  • Distraction
  • Sedation


  • Avoid anticipating your visit by booking an early appointment
  • Call ahead to ask questions
  • Talk through your anxiety and what might be causing it
  • Identify any triggers (needles, noises, smells) so your dentist can plan to avoid them
  • Tailor your plan to break down time in the chair, or make one long appointment for less appointments overall.
  • Use a hand signal to take a break through treatment

Your dentist will explain exactly what will happen in your appointment and keep you informed throughout. They’ll also check in with you during treatment to make sure you’re comfortable.



EVP Dental’s Dr Darren Cai explains how breathing exercises can help calm your breathing and clear the mind before an appointment. Some other relaxation techniques include:

  • Meditation to calm you down before treatment
  • Progressive muscle relaxation exercises to gradually release tension from head to toes
  • Use guided imagery to visualise positive thoughts

Check YouTube for guided imagery and meditation videos to keep you comfortable before your appointment. The hardest step can be walking through the door, we’ll help you from there.



  • Bring headphones to listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks or watch a program or series on our ceiling-mounted TVs.
  • Request a pillow and blanket
  • Squeeze a stress ball or occupy your hands with an object
  • Bring a friend along for support
 Distraction techniques


If the above methods haven’t been right for you in the past, ask your dentist about a suitable dental sedation option for your treatment.

Our practice is equipped to provide a range of sedation options for all dental treatments. Our sedation options include:

  • Numbing (topical) gel
  • Local anaesthesia to numb pain
  • Oral sedation to produce a relaxed state of mind
  • Happy gas (Inhalation sedation)
  • Sleep dentistry to sleep through your treatment (IV sedation)
  • General anaesthesia (at Southbank day surgery)
 Sedation options

Don’t Wait for Pain


Delaying routine dental care can cause lead to poor oral heath, pain and feed the cycle of dental fear and anxiety. The caring team at EVP Dental offer a range of methods to help you feel calm, comfortable and confident for your appointment.

For more information or to book your first visit, call our team today on (08) 9470 3944  or book an appointment online.

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Frequently asked questions

 The main causes of dental anxiety include:

  • fear of pain
  • embarrassment
  • loss of personal space
  • side effects of anaesthesia
  • lack of control
  • fear of needles

Talking to your dentist and explaining your concerns and past experiences can help you both plan for your upcoming appointment.

Dentists aim to reduce painful or uncomfortable aspects of the dental experience by focusing on removing triggers that may cause fear or anxiety for patients. Triggers include sights, sounds, sensations and smells.

At EVP Dental, we encourage patients to call ahead and inform us of any triggers we may be able to work around for a more pleasant experience.

What are some coping methods for dental anxiety?

Our dentists use a combination of communication, distraction, relaxation and sedation options to help patients feel calm and relaxed for their upcoming appointment.

Dental practitioners are perceptive and are professionally trained to identify signs of dental anxiety, which may include:

  • visible distress or panic (facial expressions, fidgeting)
  • heart palpitations
  • withdrawal
  • using humour or aggression

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We give you something to smile about! Get in touch with our team today.