nervous patients

Nervous Patients / Sedation

How we help nervous patients

If you are nervous at the thought of making a dental appointment, scared of needles or had a bad experience as a child, you are not alone.

Join us for a chat on the phone or call into the clinic to find out more about how Horbury Dental Care can help you overcome your fear, including treatment under gentle sedation.

What is Dental Phobia?

In the UK, around one in four of us is nervous about visiting the dentist. Most commonly, this results in a little anxiety when visiting and doesn’t get in the way of treatment.

However, in more severe cases, nervousness can prevent people from attending appointments, with some preferring to put it off altogether rather than face up to their fears. This results in impaired oral health which often makes patients fearful of prolonged treatment and less likely to seek help when they need it most.

It’s a vicious circle which can only be broken by a sympathetic and skilled dental professional with experience addressing the many causes and effects of dental phobia.

Common causes of dental phobia

There are many reasons why patients are nervous about attending appointments. Some of the most common reasons we come across here at Horbury Dental Care include:

  • Bad past experiences
  • Embarrassment about dental health
  • Fear of needles
  • Dislike of dental noises and smells

Our promises to you…

  • We will never judge you
    It’s very common for patients to feel ashamed of their teeth so they avoid visiting the dentist even when they’ve built up the confidence to make an appointment. Please know that we will never judge your dental health or your reasons for anxiety.
  • We will provide a calming environment
    We know that your surroundings can have a big impact on how you feel during your time at the surgery. We promise to provide as relaxing an experience as possible by seeing you on time, to be patient and to not rush you during your appointment. If you prefer not to see dental equipment, this too can be arranged!
  • We will communicate clearly
    We aim to reach a treatment plan with you, which you are comfortable with and understand fully. We appreciate there can be a lot to take in so will always provide you with a detailed written treatment plan to take away and read in the comfort of your home.
  • We will listen
    Often, nervous patients feel they need to explain where their phobia has stemmed from, particularly if they have had a traumatic experience in the past. By listening, we can learn more about your individual needs and concerns to ensure the same problems don’t arise again.
  • We will acknowledge your concerns
    We understand that everyone’s worries are different and acknowledge how important they are to you. We will never dismiss your concerns.

Meet the Team

kirsty and vicky

Kirsty and Vicky are highly experienced with nervous patients.

  • Working closely together our team provide care for those who find attending the dental surgery difficult. With more than 15 years in practice, Kirsty has helped thousands of nervous, anxious and phobic patients on their dental journey for both routine and cosmetic care, giving them a smile they can be proud of.
  • Horbury dental care are pleased to be able to offer treatment under sedation to those who find undergoing dental treatment difficult. Kirsty is a phobic-certified dentist and has completed sedation courses in London with the society for the advancement in dentistry (SAAD) and now mentors our nurses on sedation techniques for anxious patients.
  • With her kind, caring persona, along with her knowledge and experience, Kirsty is able to successfully treat the most nervous of patients. Her treatment co-ordinator, Vicky has previously worked as a sedation dental nurse so has a good background knowledge to be able to discuss and assist with your appointment planning. We are even able to offer video consultations for those who may find taking that first step through the door a little too challenging!

You are not alone…

“To say I had a phobia of the dentist would be a complete understatement. I walked out of many dentists because I wasn’t being listened to and my anxiety wasn’t taken seriously. The experience I had at Horbury Dental Care was completely the opposite. Kirsty and Vicky are both amazing and I’ll be forever grateful for how empathetic they were towards me.

As someone that has had partial dentures since the age of 15 which knocked my confidence, I completely gave up on any kind of oral hygiene. I didn’t brush which then lead to me being scared to brush as I thought my teeth might fall out. It was a terrible downward spiral. The constant possibility of an abscess loomed over me on a day-to-day basis. I knew it was time to face my fear.

There was no pressure on my first appointment and no judgment at all. Kirsty just listened to me and my needs. No urgency to go into the surgery and sit in the chair. However, I felt so at ease and so comfortable, I got into the chair on my first appointment. I needed significant treatment and I had to be sedated on 2 occasions and I don’t remember a thing. I now have 2 sets of partial dentures and I’ve never been happier in my life. I can eat properly again and for as long as I’m with Horbury Dental Care, I’ll never be scared of a dentist appointment again. I’m forever in debt to Kirsty for the way she has treated me.”

“I have avoided visiting a dentist for a long time due to my extreme fear and high anxiety of dental treatment. I knew that I desperately needed dental treatment and although the thought terrified me, I booked an appointment with Kirsty who has great experience in dealing with nervous patients like me. She took time to explain everything in simple terms and reassured me throughout. This was a HUGE step for me but I am SO happy with the results and glad that I put my trust in Kirsty. Believe me, if I can do this anyone can!”

“I have always been a very nervous patient, so when I found out that Horbury offered sedation I was happy to use this treatment for a tooth removal procedure.
I can honestly say it was the best thing I could have done. Kirsty was so lovely and friendly and put me at ease, talking me through everything and helping my nerves as best she could. The sedation process is painless and I have no recollection of the procedure which is great. Aftercare is brilliant too and I wouldn’t go anywhere else!”


How is treatment for phobic patients different?

We let nervous patients set the pace of their treatment, never rushing and allowing more time for appointments where needed. We aim to ensure you feel comfortable with your surroundings and understand the clinical environment can sometimes be overwhelming so can even offer initial consultations over the phone or via video call if needed. We can also offer treatment under sedation which helps put the most anxious of patients at ease.

What happens at my first appointment?

We would always start with an informal chat to try and establish your needs and expectations from your appointments. We would allow lots of time for you to discuss any concerns and ask any questions. Only once you feel comfortable enough, Kirsty would then move on to carry out an examination. It is important to know that you are in full control of this and if at any point you wish to stop, we will.

What can I do to make the experience easier?

You are welcome to bring someone along who can help you through your visit. You may choose to do some calming breathing exercises or bring a blanket and some music to listen to throughout your appointment. Whatever helps you relax!

Why sedation?
  • It is a safe, effective treatment.
  • Patients often forget much of the appointment due to its amnesiac affect.
  • People who have difficulty with surgical environments and /or equipment have no problem when relaxed.
  • It reduces the fatigue of extended dental treatments that require long visits.
  • It minimises the gag reflex making treatment easier for those who struggle having instruments and materials in their mouth.
Dental Sedation FAQs


If you have any questions or would like any more information on sedation at Horbury Dental Care, then please feel free to contact a sedation coordinator on 01924 211234.

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