Dental Fear and Anxiety Management: A List of Resources

  1. Websites, Forums, Facebook Groups, and Social Media
  2. Organisations
  3. Books
  4. Articles and Other Resources by Topic
    • Behavioural Management and Communication
    • Children and Teenagers
    • General Overviews
    • Hypnosis
    • Local Anaesthesia

Websites, Forums, Facebook Groups and Social Media

Dental Fear Central: Apart from the Dental Anxiety Management section aimed at dental professionals, there is tons of useful information in the pages aimed at patients as well, for example, the Common Fears, What Can Help, Interviews, and Real Life Stories sections.

Dental Phobia Forum: Please join our friendly community – it only takes a few seconds and is totally free! On Dental Fear Central’s forum, you can interact with patients, find out how they perceive things and get tips and ideas from other dental professionals. To gain access to the dental professionals’ private area, contact us or PM an administrator once logged in. We also have a “certified dentist” feature, which means that we can make sure that forum members know which users are dentists. Again, just let us know by dropping us a message with proof of your dentistry qualifications.

ISDAM Facebook group: The International Society for Dental Anxiety Management has a private Facebook group for healthcare professionals and students with an interest in dental anxiety management.

Treat Your Dental Fear: Daniel Finkelman’s website and YouTube Channel have superb content that both dentists and patients can benefit from.

Similarly, Mike Gow’s Dental Anxiety Coach Facebook page features some excellent videos.

The Calming Dentist’s Instagram and Facebook content is geared towards patients too but likewise, you may find it helpful for getting ideas for how to phrase or communicate certain things.


The International Society for Dental Anxiety Management (ISDAM) brings together all psychological, pharmacological, clinical, and technological techniques used in helping people overcome their fears and phobias.

The Society for the Advancement of Anaesthesia in Dentistry (SAAD) is a U.K.-based dental charity dedicated to the advancement of knowledge in pain and anxiety control for dentistry. It covers a lot more than sedation and publishes an excellent annual journal, the SAAD Digest.

The Dental Sedation Teachers Group (DSTG) provides a forum for all registered dental and medical professionals who are interested in the teaching of conscious sedation in dentistry.

Both the SAAD and the DSTG have annual conferences with excellent content.

The British Society of Clinical and Academic Hypnosis provides clinical hypnosis training for health professionals by health professionals. 

The British Society of Medical and Dental Hypnosis (Scotland) aims to promote the safe and responsible use of hypnosis in medicine and dentistry and to educate professionals and the public about hypnosis.


Treating Fearful Dental Patients – A patient management handbook by Peter Milgrom, DDS, Philip Weinstein, PhD, and Lisa J. Heaton PhD. 3rd edition (2009): Probably the most comprehensive book on helping anxious patients, with lots of practical tips. The latest edition can be purchased from the publishers.

Handbook of Local Anesthesia, 7th edition (2019) by Stanley Malamed. 448 pages. The leading local anaesthesia textbook. You can find the accompanying videos on Vimeo.

Successful Local Anaesthesia for Restorative Dentistry and Endodontics by Al Reader, John Nusstein and Melissa Drum (2012). This book presents the rationale, advantages, and limitations of the various anaesthetic agents and routes of administration. A special emphasis is placed on supplemental anaesthetic techniques.

Pain and Anxiety Control for the Conscious Dental Patient by John Meechan, Nigel Robb, Robin Seymour (1998). An out-of-print book, this includes chapters on anatomy and the physiology of pain transmission, local anaesthetic drugs and equipment, topical anaesthesia, injection techniques, non-pharmacological methods of pain control, and conscious sedation.

Dental Fear and Anxiety in Pediatric Patients: Practical Strategies to Help Children Cope by Caroline Campbell (Editor) (268 pages) (2017): see this BDJ review for more details.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Dental Phobia and Anxiety by Lars-Göran Öst (editor), Erik Skaret (Editor). 406 pages (2013). The first book to describe evidence-based treatment of dental phobia using brief CBT.

Hypnosis and Communication in Dental Practice by David Simons, Cath Potter, Graham Temple (2007).

Some of these books may be available on

Articles and other resources (by topic)

Overviews – Managing dental anxiety, fear and phobia

Management of fear and anxiety in the dental clinic: a review (JM Armfield, LJ Heaton, 2013) – This paper presents a review of a number of non-pharmacological techniques that can be used to help anxious patients

Strategies to manage patients with dental anxiety and dental phobia: literature review (DP Appukuttan, 2016)

Dental Anxiety, Fear and Phobia (PDF) – Mike Gow shines some light on dental phobias – and explains how the International Society of Dental Anxiety Management can help

Behavioural Management and Communication

Conscious sedation – the only tool in the box? (2008) – Stephen Woolley looks at some underlying assumptions made about the management of dental phobia and the ramifications of sedation as being the preferred method employed with anxious patients.

Acclimatising Child Patients (BDJ, 2013): A collection of tips by Murray Hawkins, some of which can also work well with adult patients.

The Use of Positive Language in Dentistry (PDF file) – Mike Gow describes how to use positive language and suggestion in your practice, and also provides an example of a positively framed patient leaflet following tooth removal.

The inter-personal work of dental conscious sedation: a qualitative analysis (2017) – Stephen Woolley discusses data regarding the inter-personal work integral to effective conscious sedation provision.

Local Anaesthesia

How to overcome failed local anaesthesia by J.G. Meechan (PDF file)

Advanced Local Anaesthetia – What you need to know (slides) by David A. Isen (2017)

A Clinical Guide to Needle Desensitization by Greig Taylor and Caroline Campbell (2015)

The Wand – Information for UK customers wishing to purchase the Wand/STA computer-assisted anaesthesia system


Keeping an Open Mind (PDF file): Mike Gow explains some of the ways hypnotherapy can be used in day-to-day practice.

Children and Teenagers

Supporting People with Dental Anxiety: A free course on supporting children and teenagers with dental anxiety. Four courses are available, aimed at teenagers, parents or dental practitioners. You need to register to access the course.