Dr Wilfred Koon: Dental phobia should be recognised as a serious health issue

  • Written by Tess Sanders Lazarus

Dr Wilfred Koon, principle dentist at The Point Dental, located in Point Cook, Melbourne has developed his practice to help Australians who suffer from dental phobia.    According to Dr Koon, in Australia alone, “one in six adults suffer from massive fear of going to a dentist and as a result, they are developing serious dental and health problems.”

“Oral health is linked to overall health including heart health,” Dr Koon said today.

“The bacteria that causes gum and teeth infection can enter the bloodstream forming fatty plaques in the arteries.  These plaque deposits can lead to serious problems, such as blood clots, which can block blood flow, leading to heart disease or stroke”

“Many people who avoid going to the dentist finally see a dentist when they experience serious issues.

“Unfortunately, delaying dental treatment can allow a small problem that is easy to treat to develop into a more complex issue.

“I want to make a difference and help people to understand that it is important to see the dentist on a regular basis.   This is why I started The Point Dental in Melbourne, to assist and treat people with a fear of dentists.    Because fear of the dentist is so common, many people manifest their fears in different ways, which makes it difficult to recognise.

“Dental phobia can be very challenging for the treating dentist.  Research has indicated that managing dental fear patients is a major source of stress for many dentists.  Many anxious patients require a lot more patience, understanding and care.

“If fearful patients are not managed correctly, it can reinforce their fear, and they end up becoming more fearful.  This can make them delay, or worse, avoid dental treatment completely. It’s a vicious cycle and everyone loses out at the end, especially the patients.

“In Australia, there are currently 13 recognised dental specialties.  However surprisingly, dental phobia, which affects the majority of the population to some degree, does not have a recognised dental specialty, which makes it difficult for people with severe dental fear to seek care.

“This is where we can help.  My team and I are experts in the field of dental fear and we work hard to make patients feel as at ease as they can.   We have developed a number of techniques to help people overcome their fear.   


“I want to reach out to those people and tell them - yes we are here for them.  We understand dental fear is uncontrollable, and we don't expect you to deal with it yourself.  It's going to be a journey but there is a way.  We can bring your teeth back to health, not just for the short term but also for the long term.

“I lead a team of thirteen and our whole clinic is designed to be as relaxing as possible.  We are never in a rush and prefer to spend time with our patients to ensure they are happy.  

“We offer many in-house services from basic to advanced dentistry including All-on-4. We are actually the only clinic in Western Suburbs of Melbourne to provide in-house general anaesthesia for our patients who prefer to feel nothing.

“By helping people to overcome their fear of the dentist, we are not only creating great smiles with our proven results, we are also helping people to improve their overall health and wellbeing.   This also leads to increased confidence and self-esteem and we love seeing the results a few years on.    Often our work can change a person’s whole outlook.

“I’d like to think we are not in the job of just drilling and filling teeth, but in a job of helping people improve their quality of life, by overcoming their dental fear, and making them more confident of themselves!”



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