Dental Anxiety Management

Learn how the team at Bespoke Smiles Wanaka can reduce your dental anxiety.

What is dental anxiety?

If the mere thought of visiting a dentist sends shivers down your spine, you're not alone. Dental anxiety is a common and understandable fear that affects countless individuals. But what exactly is dental anxiety?

Dental anxiety is a psychological response that induces feelings of unease, fear, or nervousness when faced with dental visits or procedures. This apprehension can range from mild discomfort to severe phobia, leading some to avoid dental care altogether, which can negatively impact their oral health. Several factors contribute to dental anxiety. Past traumatic experiences, fear of pain, needles, or drills, feeling helpless or out of control while in the dental chair, or simply the fear of the unknown can all trigger dental anxiety. It's crucial to recognize and address these feelings to ensure proper oral care.

At Bespoke Smiles Wanaka, we understand the significance of dental anxiety and empathise with every patient's unique concerns. Our team is specially trained to provide a welcoming and compassionate environment, fostering trust and relaxation during your dental visit.

Managing dental anxiety

To ease your worries before visiting us, we recommend several effective strategies. First, open communication is key; sharing your fears and concerns allows our caring team to tailor the experience to your needs and offer the necessary support. In return, we take the time to explain procedures thoroughly, answering all your questions to alleviate any apprehensions before we begin treatment and continue to check-in to make sure you're comfortable throughout your appointment.

Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation before you arrive and during your appointment. You might consider bringing a supportive companion along to provide reassurance and comfort during your visit. Additionally, choosing a less stressful appointment time ensures you feel mentally prepared.

We provide distractions such as TVs on the ceiling for you to watch your favourite show, noise-cancelling headphones to drown out the dental sounds, and stress balls to squeeze to relieve tension. Our goal is to help you conquer dental anxiety and ensure a positive, stress-free experience for a healthier, happier smile.

Can you fix dental anxiety?

Yes, dental anxiety can be overcome with time and positive experiences. Our compassionate team is committed to creating a comfortable and supportive environment for all patients. By gradually building trust and familiarity with dental visits, many individuals find that their anxiety lessens over time. We are here to help you work through your concerns and make your dental journey as stress-free as possible.

If it'll take a bit more to settle your dental anxiety, speak with our compassionate team about having dental treatment while sedated.

We recommend that patients with dental anxiety start with a new patient examination visit.  This allows us to learn about your dental anxiety triggers and how we can work together to manage your concerns before any dental treatment begins.

What to expect at your visit

During a new patient examination and clean visit you can expect a warm and friendly welcome from our team on arrival. We'll begin by gathering your medical history and discussing any concerns you may have before we look in your mouth. Our dentist will conduct a comprehensive oral examination, checking teeth, gums, and overall oral health. With your permission, x-rays will be taken to get a detailed view of what's happening below the gumline and inside the teeth. Afterward, we'll explain our findings, answer your questions, and discuss a personalised treatment plan if needed. Rest assured, our priority is your comfort and well-being. We're here to ensure your first visit is stress-free, informative, and sets the foundation for a healthy smile!

Payment options available

We offer a wider range of interest-free payment options to suit any budget and we offer free check-ups and cleans for teen orthodontic patients*. Individual service costs may vary. Costs can be found on our Services pages.


Learn more about dental conditions and treatments with Bespoke Smiles Wanaka.

Can my oral health impact my overall health?

Yes, there is a strong connection between oral health and overall health. Poor oral health has been linked to various systemic conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory infections, and pregnancy complications. Maintaining good oral health is essential for overall well-being.

Can children experience dental anxiety, and how can you help them cope?

Yes, children can experience dental anxiety, especially if it's their first visit or they've had negative experiences in the past. Our expert dental team specialises in working with young patients, ensuring a gentle and compassionate approach. We use child-friendly language, show them the dental tools, and take things at their pace. Building trust and creating a positive association with dental care from a young age can help children overcome anxiety and maintain good oral health throughout their lives.

Is dental anxiety common, and am I the only one experiencing it?

Dental anxiety is incredibly common, affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. You are definitely not alone in experiencing dental anxiety. Our team is well-trained to handle nervous patients with empathy and understanding. We strive to create a calming atmosphere to make your visit as comfortable as possible.

What is dental anxiety, and why do people experience it?

Dental anxiety is a psychological response characterised by fear, unease, or nervousness when facing dental visits or procedures. People experience dental anxiety for various reasons, including past traumatic experiences, fear of pain, needles, or drills, feeling helpless or out of control during treatments, or simply the fear of the unknown associated with dental procedures.

What if I haven't been to the dentist in years due to dental anxiety?

If you've avoided dental visits for a long time due to anxiety, there's no need to worry. Our non-judgmental approach is designed to help you get back on track with your oral health. We'll take the time to discuss your concerns, address any dental issues, and work together on a plan to restore your smile. Our goal is to make every visit a positive and anxiety-free experience.