Dental anxiety: a common condition

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Dental anxiety: a common condition

Dental anxiety: a common condition

Are you anxious about going to the dentist?  Do you tremble at the very thought of dental procedures and equipment?  Does the thought of leaning back in that chair with a bright light above your head seem like something straight out of a nightmare?

If so, you’re not alone.  And that is no exaggeration.  This form of anxiety is common and can be severe enough as to be considered a phobia, whereby the person cannot even go near anything associated with dental procedures.  

The dental anxiety community

Dental anxietyYou may be familiar with this sort of phobia.  What you may not be aware of, however, is the fact that this fear is so widespread that an entire community has sprung up around it.  

There is even such a thing as the International Society of Dental Anxiety Management.  Yes, you read that correctly.  An entire organization dedicates itself to dealing with this issue.  Their website is currently under construction, but their membership page shows that they invite various types of healthcare professionals into their society.  Dentists, doctors, psychologists, medical or dental students, retired and practicing healthcare professionals are all allowed to join.  They even have their own magazine publication! is a website full of resources for those who suffer from severe dental anxiety.  The entire site is a volunteer-run organization based out of the United Kingdom.  There are no ads or sponsors.  They have their own forum with an app for iPhones and Android devices.

The ubiquity of dental phobias

To give you an idea of how many people frequent the web in search of answers and support for their dental phobia, here are some figures from the forum: over 27,000 threads, over 183,000 posts, over 26,000 members.  The “support” section of the forum alone has over 8,000 threads with over 74,000 posts!  At the time of this writing, there are 1062 users online viewing the forum.  Only 5 of those are registered members.  The remaining viewers are guests who are just browsing.

In addition to the phobia forum, where people can ask questions and seek support, dental fear central has a host of resources available for people seeking information about this issue.   They have a section denoting some of the most common dental fears along with tips for coping with them.  They have a “what can help” section with tons of resources that can help people take steps toward dealing with their phobia in an effective manner.  Some people need help just getting to the point where they can psychologically deal with the prospect of searching for a dentist and making an appointment.  

One thing mentioned in the support forum is the crucial issue of finding a dentist you can trust.  This alone can help alleviate anxiety.  Dr. Michael McBride is one of the most trusted dentists in the North County San Diego area.  At McBride dental, we also offer sedation dentistry, a therapeutic option for those who struggle with dental phobias.  Take it from Judy C, a patient who recently left a review on our site:

“Take it from someone who truly was petrified of going to the dentist – the staff at McBride’s will win you over quickly”.



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