Dental Phobia Resources

As dental phobia is losing its stigma and rapidly gaining in popularity, we’ve scoured the web for dental anxiety websites, articles and forums… enjoy!

Websites and Articles

Whatfear – Tackle Fear of the Dentist This site, written by Mike Gow who can occasionally be spotted on our forum, provides info on how to tackle your fears, what methods work, stuff on hypnosis, a sample letter and questionnaire to give to your dentist, and more! Mike’s been meaning to update his site for ages, but is too busy reading all his fan mail :-)

Tell me About… My Fear of the Dentist Excellent Q&A-format info on how to go about visiting a dentist by the British Dental Health Foundation. Essential reading.

Overcoming Dental Anxiety (BUPA factsheet) Another dental phobia must-read…

FAQ on Dental Phobia Gary Stough DMD, a dentist from the U.S., explains his perspective on treating patients with dental fears and phobias. Well worth a read!

Dental Phobia at Floss.com Try and ignore the explicit image and concentrate on the text… Includes sections such as What is Dental Phobia? Why do I fear the dentist? What can I do about my dental fear? Particular emphasis is given to issues such as communication and sense of control. Very well-written and highly recommended!

Conquer Your Fear of the Dentist by Dr Eric Spieler. Highly recommended, especially if fear of loss of control or not being in charge plays a major part in your phobia.

How Dental Fears Work by Jerry Gordon. A great article, targeted at both dental phobics and dentists. Jerry has also been recommended on our message board in the past – small world, eh? You can also explore the rest of his website, which features tons of useful articles!

There is more to life than dental fear An interesting look at dental fears from the humanistic perspective, this article emphasizes the importance of putting the patient in control. Recommended!

The Dental Phobia Treatment Center of New York Commercial, but reassuring. Information about dental phobia, solutions, and treatment. Don’t worry, you won’t have to fly to New York to find a great dentist… Scotland is full of them!

A Professional Psychologist and Dental Phobic Speaks… This article (PDF download), which appeared in the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association in 2005, comes highly recommended. Written by an (ex-)dental phobic psychologist, the article presents interesting ideas on cognitive restructuring and learning theory.

A Simple 5 Minute Cure for Dental Anxiety (?) – if only it were that simple *sigh*… hardly a cure for dental phobia! But does contain some interesting ideas, that’s why it’s included here. And if visualization is a method you think might help you, this is well worth a read. Also some interesting thoughts on orality, authority, and their relationship to dentistry.

Don’t be afraid of the… (Boston Globe) Behavioural tips for overcoming dental phobias, recommended. Try and ignore the “dire warnings”.

Embarrassing Problems – Fear of the Dentist Good agony-aunt-style advice, also on finding a dentist.

Overcome Your Fear of the Dentist Very good article… but very scary old-style dentistry photos. Don’t worry – take them as a lesson in how to recognize dental surgeries/offices which don’t comply with modern standards (instruments in plain sight, spooky atmosphere etc.). The article itself is well worth reading! Good tips for choosing the right dentist.

Dental Anxiety by Susan Zakin. “You can have people shoot at me, but don’t send me to the dental clinic. I may die or get blown up, but I prefer to do that than sit in this chair right here.” Does this ring a bell? Very good article on how dental phobia may be overcome, giving lots of examples.

Managing Patient Anxiety – The Iatrosedative Process Nathan Friedman’s classic paper on behavioral treatment approaches to dental phobia. For dental professionals.

nomorepanic.co.uk: Dental Phobia A new article on dental phobia, clearly written and presented. Features a tip on how to distinguish handpiece vibration from pain.

Forums and Message Boards

Dental Fear Central’s Dental Phobia Support Forum The biggest and busiest dental phobia forum on the web! Dentists are welcome to join, too.

The International Society for Dental Anxiety Management is a an organisation for professionals with an interest in dental anxiety management. A forum is planned and you can join the ISDAM facebook page.

alt.support.dental-phobia (usenet/Google Groups) Ahh, the joys of usenet… absolutely anything goes! Look for support and advice, discuss and debate, and be as controversial as you like – not a moderator in sight! And no posters either…

Books

“Treating Fearful Dental Patients: A Patient Management Handbook” (1995). By Philip Weinstein, Tracy Getz, Peter Milgrom. Provides some concrete behavioural methods for tackling dental fear. Out of print, but well worth trying to get hold of despite some out-of-date information.

“The Fearful Dental Patient: A Guide to Understanding and Managing” by Arthur A. Weiner (editor) (2010). This book will come out around Christmas 2010 and will feature a chapter on hypnosis written by our own Mike Gow!

“Seven Simple Steps To Overcoming Dental Anxiety” by Dr. Christine Botchway (2007). According to Amazon’s product description, “this lighthearted book shares heartwarming real experiences that Dr. Christine has experienced in her journey of treating anxious dental patients. She shares seven simple practical steps that you can use immediately to start overcoming dental anxiety and start loving your visits to the dental office.”

“Building a No-fear Practice: Introducing Children to a Lifetime of Positive Dental Care” by Allan Pike (2006). A slim but well-written book, perhaps more relevant to U.S. dentistry as many of the controversial methods which Pike challenges are unacceptable in Europe anyway. Does however provide hands-on-tips for dealing with anxious child patients and considering the low cost of this book, you can’t go wrong!