Dental Phobia … You Are Not Alone

Most people experience feelings of nervousness and mild anxiety when considering an appointment with their dentist. However, there are others who experience a dichotomy of conflicting arguments in their heads creating a true phobia when even considering scheduling a dentist appointment.

The majority of people who suffer from fear of dental procedures suffer in silence. They may feel that it is ridiculous to feel this fear and may even feel embarrassed by their fear.According to the CDC, twenty-six percent of adults in the U.S. between the ages of twenty and forty-four live with untreated dental needs. (, 2019-pre CoVid) The ADA (American Dental Association) claims that twenty-two percent of Americans avoid the dentist leaving their health to chance due to dental phobia. This means that approximately one out of every four Americans are dealing with some level of dental fear. Without the realization of how prevalent this condition is, patients tend to isolate themselves. This isolation reinforces feelings of shame and increases potential mental health issues regarding strong insecurities in relation to the appearance of their teeth. These insecurities deepen as they begin to hide their smile or avoid revealing their teeth in any way.

However, not all dental fears are the same, which is why one plan for all patients results in an unmitigated failure creating an even greater panic when considering scheduling a dentist appointment in the future. Usually, this particular anxiety begins with a childhood trauma. The way in which the anxiety is dealt with is the solution. And each fear should be dealt with differently. For instance, patients with a fear of needles would not receive the same treatment as a patient who fears pain or a patient who experiences a psychological reflex such as a gag reflex. Treatment for these individual conditions does not fit within the one size fits all model. Each condition must be properly diagnosed and a plan for that condition must be personalized for that patient. Without such personalization, fear takes control and dominates the patients thinking creating a self-fulfilled prophesy, which takes them to the very place where they didn’t want to be in the first place – in pain with their teeth, added expense, more time in the dental chair, and more in-depth procedures. It is imperative that these patients receive the care they need in order to keep fear out of the driver’s seat.

Dr. Matt Randall specializes in helping patients confront their fears and delivering comprehensive dental treatments in order to avoid future emergency endodontic care due to repeatedly cancelled appointments. Only in rare instances is a patient referred outside of the office for a dental procedure. The trust that is established between the patient and Dr. Matt is the key to overcoming their dental fear. Dr. Matt understands that trust is not something someone with a true dental fear can easily give away for free. A certain percentage of this trust has to be earned. A patient has to believe in their heart that their doctor is not going to hurt them. It requires a certain degree of trust to simply show up and then a greater degree of trust to sit in the chair. Dr. Matt cares and addresses the specific thing that is causing the fear for each patient individually.

The solution is in creating enough pleasant experiences in the dental chair to outweigh the previous negative experiences. Dr. Matt creates a specialized program to help each individual patient overcome their specific dental fears. By earning trust and recreating the dental experience, he is creating a new environment for the dental field – an environment built on respect, trust, and expertise, one patient at a time.

Click here for your specialized appointment with Dr. Matt to begin your journey to fear free and virtually painless dental visits!