Dental Phobia Dentist in Redlands | Toothwise

Redland Bay at sunrise

Dental Fears & Phobias

Looking for a Dentist in the Redlands that understands your dental phobia or fear?


Dr Nupur Hackwood BDS;ADS;MDS;PhDAs a dentist, Dr. Hackwood naturally learnt how to manage dental problems just like any other dentist.  However, it was really only through her further training as a specialist dentist treating children did she really understand how to manage patients with dental fears.  This made her realise that she did not want to limit her practice to children as she had so much to offer the adult population of patients especially those that had previous bad experiences and were afraid to see the dentist.

Dr. Hackwood used her rigorous training in understanding and managing dental fears, anxieties and phobias in children to adapt and modify her techniques to successfully manage dental fears, anxieties and phobias in adults so that they can now see a dental phobia dentist. [click to read more about Nupur]

At the first appointment, your level of anxiety, your reasons for being afraid of dental treatment, and the various techniques that would best suit you in your dental care are assessed. This is Dr. Hackwood's area of special interest.  In her own words : "the best reward of doing what I do is when I am able to help a phobic dental patient receive dental treatment in my surgery and them returning again and again as regular patients".

You may be terrified of the dentist, embarrassed about the state of your teeth, fear that you have no control in the dental chair, that it would be painful, afraid of needles, do not like the smells and sounds, gag easily, have panic attacks, cannot handle the sound of the drill, feel as if you were choking when numb, don’t know where to start as things have progressed over the years, cannot afford treatment, don’t like to see blood.  Whatever your reason we have a solution for you. For more detailed information on dental fears go to these excellent sites [] or[]

If you are reading this page and you experience extreme dental anxiety please do not hesitate to contact any of our highly trained and experienced staff who see and manage patients with dental fear on a regular basis and know exactly how to respond to your queries. Alternatively, feel free to pop in and discuss any concerns you might have with our Patient Manager Jenna Gibson or call us on 3829 2299 or send us an email describing your fears at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Remember teeth and gum problems are best addressed sooner rather than later and the problem does not just go away. Regular checkups allow us to detect these problems and help guide you towards a healthy, disease free mouth sooner rather than later leaving you with a better overall dental experience.

We take every concern seriously no matter how small or embarrassing you think the problem, we promise to help you as best we can so if you suffer from Dental phobia come see our specialist dental phobia dentist at our Thornlands location.



Managing Phobias

Any dentist can fix a tooth, but fixing a tooth for an extremely phobic and apprehensive person requires a skilled dentist who understands how to manage not only the patient's anxiety but also to a large extent their own anxieties that are transferred to them by the anxious and nervous patient.

There are many ways of managing fear, anxieties and phobias that a patient may experience when seeking dental treatment.

Many patients say "just knock me out and do what you have to do".  This is possible as patients can be treated for most conditions under General Anaesthetic.  However, GA has it's risks albeit small, is expensive, and is impractical to use everytime the patient has a dental problem.  It is important to realise that GA treatment may be practical in the first instance for a myriad of problems but not so for regular single dental problems that may arise from time to time.

At Toothwise we have developed a reputation of not needing to put the majority of our phobic patients under GA every time they have a dental problem.  Our goal is to reach out to them to overcome their fears and accept dental treatment with no pain in the dental chair under local anaesthetic alone and or nitrous oxide sedation if required. Patients with varying degrees of fear have been treated in the chair without general anaesthetic simply by learning certain techniques of relaxation by Dr. Hackwood and trusting her.

Some patients are so fearful that they cannot even make themselves have a dental check up at their first visit. However, they do eventually take the big step and do return for treatment. Some patients are initially unable to even open their mouth as they feel ashamed or embarassed of their dental health which they may have neglected for years due to their fears.

Some patients simply burst out in tears at the first visit and often this is the first step in their healing.  Some patients cannot stand the sound of the drill, we offer them headphones with the ability to play their music of choice.  Some patients gag as part of their fear reflex, we take care of that as well.  Some patients are afraid to lie down as they feel they do not have control - we sit them up.  Some patients are prescribed medication to calm them down, some prefer to have the laughing gas to help them relax.  In Dr. Hackwood's experience very few patients really need General Anaesthetic for their dental treatment if they find the right dentist to manage not only their dental problems but also their fears and phobias.

Good dentistry today is pain free and this does not mean going under General Anaesthetic to not feel pain.  Good local anaesthetic = pain free dentistry.  Administering the local anaesthetic does not need to be painful either.  We use several special techniques to ensure that you do not feel the "needle" much.  In fact, at Toothwise we call it the "magic water".  Our younger patients actually believe that they have had magic water and do not realise (unless they are told!) that they indeed had a needle.  The number of adults that are surprised that we injected them are numerous and often compliment us on our technique.

Dental equipment and techniques have improved hugely over the years and it is definitely a much gentler experience than it used to be and we at Toothwise certainly work as hard as we can so our patients experience no or very little discomfort.  We rarely have to offer General Anaesthesia to even our most phobic and apprehensive patients as we believe we can provide pain free dentistry in our rooms just by using good, modern techniques of pain and patient management.

If however, you let things slide and do not attend to dental problems quickly resulting in deep infections in the bone or painful swellings in the face, it can be difficult to achieve good anaesthesia.  Pain free dentistry begins with you as the more regularly you see the dentist the less invasive it has to be and the easier it is on you.  It also is cheaper as problems are detected at an earlier stage and it takes less time to fix.

The goal is to get apprehensive patients to be able to cope with dentistry in the chair and free them from the need of requiring general anaeasthetic. In our experience given a bit of time, lot of patience and explanation, most patients with even extreme phobias can overcome their fears and become regular dental patients.

At Toothwise we have also found that our most apprehensive and phobic patients are also our strongest referral source and even when they move from the Redlands they keep coming back and referring others as they understand the value of staying with a dentist who is well equipped to manage dental problems in patient with dental fears.


Preparing for the Appointment

Even before you make your appointment we encourage you to drop by and visit our practice and meet with our staff.  You need to feel comfortable and determine if this practice is for you and once you are happy then make your first consultation appointment. You may wish to bring a friend, your partner, your parents anyone that will be supportive of you and we encourage them to be with you in the surgery.

We recommend all our new patients to have a full dental examination first.  This is more important if you have dental fears as it helps you get a feel of the practice, staff and the dentist.  It helps you understand various procedures and we find that this helps patients considerably.

At the fist visit, we allow the patient to familiarise themselves with staff and the surgery and spend a considerable amount of time trying to understand their fears and anxieties. At this appointment your dentist will try to understand your phobias and devise the right plan for you in terms of how best you would relax.  The more you tell your dentist, the easier it is for them to manage your fears. A full mouth examination (including X-rays where indicated) is conducted and areas of concern are discussed in a calm and relaxed environment with you.

We encourage patients to take their own pace and only do as much as they are comfortable with. Several methods of desensitising a patient are available.

You may wish to see your GP and get a prescription for a sedative which you can start a day or before your appointment which helps you relax.

Feel free to bring in your own iPOD or you can choose from the wide variety of relaxing music that you can listen to through headphones.

You may choose to watch a video on your chairside monitor whilst we work on your teeth.

For more detailed information on dental fears go to this excellent site which Dr Hackwood recommends you check out before your dental visit [].  Also worth checking out is:[]















Other - Special Needs

Patient who sees a dental phobia dentist in Thronlands

Some patients have special needs such as being in a wheelchair.  Our surgeries have wheelchair access and often we can treat you whilst you are seated in your wheelchair.

Some patients with severe Parkinson's disease may need head support.  Some patients with back problems need to sit up for treatment.  Others have a strong gag reflex - we have strategies to manage this as well.

Patients with Autism spectrum disorders may need to familiarise themselves with having things in their mouth first before they can commence treatment.  We work with them on this and have been successful in managing them over time in the dental chair.  Children with mental disabilities are referred to see Dr. Hackwood regularly.  Whilst she can treat a small proportion of individuals with severe mental disabilities in the chair, this is one group that does require GA everytime they have a dental problem.  Arrangements are made for these special individuals to be referred for treatment under GA in the hospital.

You may have allergies to Latex in our gloves or Adrenaline in the local anaesthetic - we can use latex free gloves and adrenaline free anaesthetics.

We understand patients with special needs whatever this might be and want to help you have a comfortable and pleasant visit.  So please tell our friendly reception staff about your special need so we can serve you better.


More Information

Remember we are here to help you. We see many many phobic and apprehensive patients from all walks of life so you are not alone. For more details on dental phobias and various techniques used click on this site []

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