Dental Fear Central is a website and an associated forum offering free help and advice around the clock. We set up this website in 2004 to support anyone with an extreme fear of the dentist or specific dental fears. We also provide information for dental professionals who would like to better help their nervous or phobic patients.
Our website was written by people who know what it’s like – both from the patient’s and from the dentist’s perspective. Over the years, we have collected a wealth of information related to a fear of the dentist, and how to overcome it.
We are an independent, non-commercial website, driven by a passion for helping people overcome dental anxiety, fear and phobia.
Who We Are
Our volunteers include people with lived experience of dental phobia and anxiety, dental professionals, and mental health professionals.
Our Dental Advisory Board
Gordon Laurie BDS (Gla) MPH (Gla)
Gordon qualified from Glasgow University’s Dental School in 1982 and completed a Masters Degree in Public Health in 2005. He has a long history of working in the Ayrshire & Arran Community Dental Service, initially in paediatric service and later transferring into the then-new Special Dental Care Team. He also spent a number of years in private practice.
Lincoln Hirst BDS (Lond) LDS RCS (Eng)
Lincoln qualified from Kings College Medical School in 1988. He has been working at Garden City Dental in Welwyn Garden City since 1989, becoming a partner in 1994. Lincoln has a special interest in treating apprehensive patients and has spent the last 30 years refining his abilities in this field.
Niall Neeson BDS (QUBelf) P.GRAD.DIP.CON.SED.
Niall graduated from Queen’s University Belfast in 2006 and in 2018 he completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Conscious Sedation in Dentistry from Trinity College Dublin. Niall has a special interest in helping people who either avoid (or really dislike) going to the dentist and has developed ‘Dental Fear Solutions’ – a bespoke service to support the specific needs of each person.
Mike Gow BDS (Gla), MFDS RCPS (Gla), PGCert in the Management of Dental Anxiety (Edin), MSc in Hypnosis Applied to Dentistry (Lon)
Mike leads and manages the dental anxiety unit of the Berkeley Clinic in Glasgow. He graduated from Glasgow University’s Dental School in 1999, and has a Postgraduate Certificate in the Management of Dental Anxiety from the University of Edinburgh. In 2005, he graduated with a Masters in Hypnosis Applied to Dentistry from the University of London.
Other Authors, Reviewers and Fact Checkers
We also have a number of additional authors, reviewers and fact checkers who ensure that our content is accurate and up-to-date.
- Dr Andrew Laurie MB ChB FRCA FFICM
- Dave Carbonell PhD
- Douglas Miller BDS LDS RCS (Eng) MFGDP (UK) Dip.D.Sed (Lond)
- Fraser Hendrie BDS MFGDP
- Dr Ikhlas El Karim BDS PhD FDSRCS (Rest Dent) FFDRCSI PGCHET
- John Urquhart BDS
- Lloyd Jerome BDS
- Murray Hawkins BDS DGDPRCS
- Tom Draper DMD
- Victoria Mellish BDS (UK) FHEA (Eng) GDipHlthProfEd (Aus) PGCertHBE (Eng) MJDF (Eng)
The Dental Fear Central Web Team
Unless otherwise stated on individual web pages, the articles on this website have been created jointly by members of our web team. Our Web Team is made up largely by people with lived experience of dental phobia, dental anxiety, or specific dental fears. The articles are written using the collective wisdom and understanding that has been gained from members posting on our forum over the years. Where appropriate, we ask our Advisory Board experts to fact check these pages for accuracy and completeness. Pages which have been reviewed by experts mention the names of the reviewer(s) and link back to their profile page which lists their credentials.
Ad and Sponsorship Policy
Our website is privately funded. Dental Fear Central does not accept or receive sponsorship for any mentioned products, nor do we sell advertising. The website volunteers, forum moderators, dentists and other professionals who contribute to this website do so in an unpaid volunteer capacity.
Originally conceived as a hub for dental phobia information, with links to relevant websites, Dental Fear Central started in 2004 as a free tripod website and a ProBoards forum. Not long afterwards, we bought our own domain, www.dentalfearcentral.com, which we then changed to www.dentalfearcentral.org to reflect the website’s non-commercial nature. We also started our own forum on the newly acquired domain.
Over the years, as we gained more knowledge via the posts on our forum and email exchanges with dental professionals, we added any information that struck us as useful to the website pages. To ensure that the information we provide is up-to-date and accurate, we have established a panel of dental professionals who regularly review our web pages.
We also toyed with the idea of setting up a mirror website for dental practitioners. For a while, we had a domain called www.dentalanxiety.net with information for dentists, other dental professionals and dental students. However, for technical reasons, we decided to merge this website with www.dentalfearcentral.org.
What We Do
Help and support
Since 2004, we have run an online Dental Phobia Support Forum. Our forum has had more than 200,000 posts to date, illustrating the acute need for this type of support system.
People who suffer from dental anxiety and dental phobia are often too embarrassed to speak about their problem with friends and family. The anonymity our forum provides can make a huge difference. People can voice their fears (often for the first time), get the input of others who have been in a similar situation, and realise they are not alone. Many of our members have commented that reading the dentists’ replies on our forum hugely helped them meet or email potential dentists and make an appointment.
Our Dental Phobia Support Forum is run on a day-by-day basis by a team of dedicated volunteers from all over the world.
As the world’s most comprehensive dental phobia resource, we provide high quality, in-depth information on topics such as common dental fears, tips for overcoming dental fears, and information for dentists who are interested in helping nervous or phobic patients.
Dental Fear Central has made an important impact on understanding dental phobias and fears as can be demonstrated both through our Dental Phobia Support Forum and academic research. We value quality research that helps the lives of people who experience dental anxiety, fear or phobia and is useful to dentists and other professionals.
Research conducted in conjunction with Dental Fear Central:
Accessing dental anxiety online support groups: An exploratory qualitative study of motives and experiences. Heather Buchanan, Neil Coulson (2007). Patient Education and Counseling, Volume 66, Issue 3, June 2007, Pages 263-269. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0738399107000055
Self‐reported efficacy of an online dental anxiety support group: a pilot study. Neil Coulson, Heather Buchanan (2007). Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, Volume 36, Issue 1, February 2008, Pages 43-46. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1600-0528.2007.00349.x
You can find a list of journal articles and other publications which mention or cite Dental Fear Central here:
This page also details what to do if you are interested in doing research involving Dental Fear Central.
How to Contact Us
We can be contacted by email using our contact form, or by writing to
Dental Fear Central
P. O. Box 480