Dental fear? Our readers suggest coping techniques.

Brave patient overcoming her fears, taking a selfie with her dentist before receiving an anesthetic injection with a syringe.

Dental anxiety can be a real fear. It can range from mild nerves about visiting the dentist to paralyzing fear at the mere thought of dental work or teeth. Dental fear can be triggered by a number of things, including bad experiences in the past or associations with the sound and smell of the dental clinic. Some form of dental “apprehension” is normal, as most of us worry about our teeth, their appearance, and having to pay for DENTAL CARE. If it becomes fearful, then you may be suffering from dental anxiety. You can overcome dental anxiety. Regular dental care is important not only for your teeth and gums but also for your overall health. These are some of the ways we can help with your dental anxiety.

Terrified young woman at the dentist office

What causes dental anxiety?

You are not the only one suffering from dental anxiety. 15% of patients have some type of fear about their teeth. While most people can make a booking for a dental appointment with no fear, those who fear the process can have a variety of reasons.

Fear of pain

Fear of pain is something that everyone has. However, if you’re afraid to make a dental appointment because you fear it might hurt, we can help. Modern dentistry offers many options to make sure you feel comfortable, no matter what type of treatment or cleaning. You can relax during your appointment with nitrous oxide or any other type of anesthetic.

Fear of needles

Even for people who don’t fear dentists, this is quite common. We can solve this problem by using Nitrous Oxide to calm you so that you don’t notice the needle being used.

Past experience

If you have had bad experiences with other dentists, it is understandable that you might be nervous about visiting our office. These negative experiences can range from poor service at the front desk, to discomfort during a dental appointment. Perhaps you have even had an unpleasant experience with a dentist because of their demeanor. No matter what negative experience you had with a dentist, our office is different. Finding a dentist who makes you feel at ease and treats you with respect should be your number one goal.

Trust issues

Trust issues can also arise from past problems with a dentist’s office or its business operations. A dentist might have mistreated you or over-billed you. Perhaps you have experienced problems with appointments that were made over the phone. When you arrive at your appointment, you are told there is no record. There are also chances that you have had a run-in with rude staff. These can lead to trust issues and discourage you from returning to your dental office. It is crucial to find the right dentist for you. This starts with the first call to schedule your appointment. To avoid any misunderstandings, make sure you have all your questions answered and that they are on the same page regarding your billing, treatment and appointments. This will help to avoid being upset, waste of time, and create a bad feeling.


Sometimes, anxiety can be caused by feeling helpless during treatment. It is possible to feel anxious because you are unable to communicate with us and we won’t be able tell you if you feel pain. People with other fears, such as claustrophobia, might feel restricted when they are in the chair. Knowing how you feel can help ease any anxiety. Your dentist will be able to help you with your fears.


Patients who have been avoiding the dentist for many years may be surprised to learn that they have problems with their teeth. Your dental team is able to help you with any issues that may arise.

Financial stress

If you don’t have dental insurance, are in debt, or both, you may be concerned about the cost of your treatment. You have many options for financing your dental care. Everybody has the right to good dental care. A good dentist will help you explore payment options and government-funded programs that might be available to you.

How can dentists assist?

We are committed to providing the best dental care for your dental health. We will address all your concerns, from appearance to pain and financial problems to issues within our office. Your dentist should make every effort to treat you in a way that is comfortable for you. They should also be professional and flexible to meet your individual needs.

What should I do if I’m still afraid?

After having a personal conversation about your concerns with us, if you still feel afraid, you might consider talking to a mental healthcare professional to help you assess your fears. You can get the care you need for optimal health and manage your anxiety with a variety of techniques.

The Clinic deal with dental anxiety so you don’t have to. Dr. Gagne uses a variety of techniques that are proven effective at treating patients’ fear and anxiety about visiting the dentist, including psychotherapy (individual therapy) as well as group therapy (psychodrama). Oxnard dentist who specializes in dentistry for people with dental phobia and anxiety at his state-of-the art office.

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