Dental phobia: what is it and how can we help?

Dental phobia: what is it and how can we help?

Despite our very best efforts at BPI Dental, we understand that a trip to the dentist can be more than just a little nerve-wracking for some people. If this is you, it might be comforting to know that more than 10 million UK adults suffer from some sort of dental anxiety. Around six million have dental phobia, [i] so you are definitely not alone! But what exactly is dental anxiety or phobia?

Dental anxiety

From a fear of objects like the dental drill to the anticipation of pain, dental anxiety ranges from mild uneasiness to feelings of acute stress. There are a number of potential triggers for this. For instance, it may be that you had a traumatic experience in the past. However, sometimes this intense dread can come from nowhere.

Dental phobia


Where the fear is so severe that a person is too frightened to even enter the dental practice, this is known as dental phobia. Indications that you are phobic rather than anxious can include the following in the lead up to a dental appointment:

  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Intense feelings of nervousness
  • Feeling physically ill
  • Difficulty breathing

The impact on your oral health

If anxiety or phobia is or has been an issue for you, you may have avoided the dentist altogether. This is not ideal, as regular visits will enable the BPI Dental team to keep a close eye on your teeth and gums. We also always do routine screenings for diseases such as mouth cancer, which are vital for early detection. Finding a way to overcome your fears is therefore important for your dental and general health. With special techniques and a super friendly team, we can help.

Here to help

At BPI Dental we offer intravenous sedation to help make dental treatment more comfortable and less stressful. It is delivered through a small plastic tube at the back of the hand or arm meaning that it is extremely safe and non-intrusive – there isn’t a needle in sight! If you’d like to find out more about how the procedure works, have a chat with our team. We’ve carried out hundreds of procedures for patients using this technique and we’d love to talk to you about how we can help give you a pleasant and painless dental experience.


[i] Oral Health Foundation: Income, education and social isolation linked to dental anxiety in new report. Published 19 April 2018. Accessed online October 1 2018 at

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