The aim of this study was to develop and evaluate a communication skills training programme for the management of dental anxiety. The aims of the training were directed at the enhancement of knowledge and communication skills. The research design consisted of a pre-test-post-test-control group design. The instruments were a knowledge test, a behavioural role-play test and a learner report. Thirty-four graduate students participated in the study. The results showed that the communication skills training had an effect on the knowledge and a substantial effect on the behaviour of the students. Moreover, the results from the learner report showed that the students acquired important insights in their own capacities and limitations. The conclusions are that the course as a whole is effective for dealing with anxious patients. Finally, it is recommended that knowledge and behaviour examinations are introduced as a regular part of the curricula for dentistry students.