Dental Anxiety and Phobia

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Here at Preston Circus Dental Practice, we completely understand the overwhelming fear of dental appointments that many patients experience. If you let us know when booking your appointment, we will do everything we possibly can to make you feel as comfortable as possible from the moment you arrive until you leave.

Fear of the dentist

Many people visualise a drill-wielding man in a white coat just waiting to cause pain and remove teeth. The reality, however, is very different. The comfort, relaxation, and happiness of our patients are at the heart of what we do here.

Katy, Sarah and the rest of the staff at our practice will do whatever they can to reduce anxiety, allay fears, and provide quick treatments.

Recent technological advancements have meant that in many cases, dentists are able to replace noisy drills with painless laser beams. There are also a wide variety of safe anesthetics available to eliminate pain and reduce anxiety during routine appointments.

Common fears about the dentist

If you suffer from any of the following fears, we can provide reassurance and understanding prior to and during your visit to us.

  • Fear of embarrassment about the condition of teeth
  • Fear of gagging
  • Fear of injections
  • Fear of loss of control
  • Fear of not becoming numb when injected with Novocain
  • Fear of pain
  • Fear of the dentist as a person
  • Fear of the hand piece (or the drill)

How can one overcome dental anxiety?

Dental anxiety and fear can become completely overwhelming.  It is estimated that as many as 35 million people do not visit the dental office at all because they are too afraid. Receiving regular dental check-ups and cleanings is incredibly important. Having regular routine check-ups is the easiest way to maintain excellent oral hygiene and reduce the need for more complex treatments.

Tips for reducing dental fear and anxiety

  • Talk to us – Although it can sometimes be hard to talk about irrational fears with a stranger, we can take extra precautions during visits if fears and anxiety are communicated.

  • Bring a portable music player – Music acts as a relaxant and also drowns out any fear-producing noises.  Listening to calming music throughout the appointment will help to reduce anxiety.

  • Agree on a signal – Many people are afraid that the dentist will not know they are in significant pain during the appointment and will continue with the procedure regardless.  The best way to solve this problem is to agree on a “stop” hand signal.  Both parties can easily understand signals like raising the hand or tapping on the chair.

  • Spray the throat – Throat sprays (for example, Vicks® Chloraseptic® Throat Spray) can actually control the gag reflex.  Two or three sprays will usually keep the reflex under control for about an hour.

  • Take a mirror – Not being able to see what is happening can increase anxiety and make the imagination run wild.  Watching the procedure can help keep reality at the forefront of the mind.

  • Sedation – If there is no other way to cope, sedation offers an excellent option for many people.  There are several types of sedation, but the general premise behind them is the same: the patient regains their faculties after treatment is complete.


“A brilliant dentist. I travel from out of town to attend this dentist due to the quality of the service my children and I receive. They are punctual, kind, professional and extremely patient with my autistic children. Finding a dentist my children were happy with had been a marathon of a journey, but now I have one that not only are great with the kids, but also are fantastic dentists. Can’t recommend them enough.”
Jon Noble.

“Lovely staff on the front desk, appointment was on time. The dentist was great, she talked me through the treatment I had done to put me at ease after a previous bad experience with another dentist. This dentist was recommended to me and I would recommend her to others.”
Craig Fitzsimons

If you suffer with dental phobia please let us know when you contact us to make an appointment. We will do everything we can to allay your fears and look forward to welcoming you!