Experience to bring you ease

Treating Dental Anxiety

While every effort is taken to reduce discomfort and eliminate pain, some clients are prone to anxiety on a visit to the dentist.

The team at Harter Family Dental Care understands all patients have different dental needs, so they use a variety of methods to promote relaxation and reduce discomfort in a calm and caring environment.

The dentists, in conjunction with the dental therapists, will listen to you to assess your individual needs and discuss options.

These range from in-practice treatment with simple prophylactic calmatives, to ‘happy gas’ administered by the dentists. The practice can also offer twilight sedation intravenously with the help of local general practitioners from Southern Regional Medical Group.

Patients are referred where full sedation is required.

The best method for you and your individual needs is determined in consultation with your dentist.

Methods determined in consultation

Prophylactic medication

The dentist prescribes this to help reduce anxious feelings related to dental treatment.

Nitrous oxide

Often referred to as ‘happy gas’, this is an inhaled sedative, which promotes relaxation. This method is most commonly used to treat children. Mary combines this with her fairy stories, which help to distract the child and create a positive experience. This option is safe and convenient for adults as well as children.

Intravenous sedation

This method requires a consultation with a GP prior to treatment. It is very effective for treating the patient while they are still conscious, and they will not have any memory of the procedure. Patients will need a friend or family member to transport them from the practice following treatment.


A referral to a specialist can be arranged where more extensive treatment and full sedation are required.

Comfortable dentistry is a priority, so you are encouraged to discuss any concerns about your treatment with the team, who will make every effort to put you at ease.