Nervous Patients

We fully accept that some patients have a dental phobia relating to various aspects of treatment and that the basis of their phobia lies in their subconscious mind. Perhaps having had a nasty experience as a child, or even overhearing a story or treatment details inconsiderately related by an adult. These are real fears and they may need to be handled quickly if emergency dental treatment is required.

The good news is that at Purley Dental we understand our patients’ fears and can do a great deal to make dental check-ups and treatment an acceptable, normal part of life. We know that nervous patients above all want to be listened to and not rushed or pressurised. We take our time to explain all aspects of suggested treatment.

Our Aims:

  • If the treatment is not urgent we may embark on a gradual introduction to treatment, allowing our patient to get accustomed to dental procedures.
  • If there is a more pressing need for treatment, we offer Diazepam as a sedation technique until we have dealt with the urgent care.
  • We then return to a slower rate of treatment, again with the aim of training the patient to accept “normal” treatment in due course.

Conscious Sedation

Diazepam does not cause unconsciousness, but while the patient walks in and walks out of the dental practice they are not allowed to drive or operate machinery for 24 hours, so they must be accompanied by a responsible adult and not be left alone during the recovery period.


On occasions we do need to refer our patients to a general anaesthetic clinic if both the need for treatment and the phobia is too great. We are happy to do this following an initial visit to assess the clinical problem and the patient’s medical history. Within NHS general practice, a gradual approach would not be appropriate to offer patients with a phobia, but we are happy to refer any nervous patient to an NHS dental hospital following an initial assessment appointment with us, for treatment under sedation or general anaesthesia as necessary.

Please contact the practice for more information on how we can help nervous patients.