DENTAL EMERGENCY? telephone call 833-925-8326
Dental Fear Management

Dr. Zak pays special attention to people with fear and offer them all the modalities help control and alleviate patient’s fear.


If you live in Southern California feel free to Schedule a New Patient Visit with us in Zak Dental offices in Agoura Hills, Covina/San Dimas, Downey, Long Beach, North Park, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Simi Valley, Temecula, Valencia, Ventura, and Whittier/La Mirada, California.
For all your dental needs, schedule an appointment by calling the Zak Dental office at 833-ZAK-TEAM.


Dental Fear Management FAQ

What is dental fear?

Dental fear, also known as dental anxiety or dentophobia, is the fear of dental procedures and visits to the dentist. This can range from mild anxiety to severe phobia that prevents individuals from seeking dental care.

What causes dental fear?

Common causes include:

  • Previous traumatic dental experiences.
  • Fear of pain or discomfort.
  • Feelings of helplessness or loss of control.
  • Embarrassment about dental health.
  • Fear of needles or dental instruments.
  • Negative stories or media portrayals of dental visits.

How common is dental fear?

Dental fear is very common, affecting about 36% of the population to some degree, with around 12% experiencing extreme dental fear.

How can dental fear be managed?

Several strategies can help manage dental fear:

  • Open communication: Talk to your dentist about your fears. A good dentist will listen and take steps to make you comfortable.
  • Relaxation techniques: Practice deep breathing, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation.
  • Distraction: Use headphones to listen to music or watch TV during your appointment.
  • Gradual exposure: Gradually increase exposure to dental settings and procedures to desensitize fear.
  • Sedation options: Consider sedation dentistry, such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral sedatives, or intravenous sedation.
  • Therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can be effective in addressing and managing dental fear.

What should I do if my dental fear is severe?

If your fear is severe, consider:

  • Seeking a dentist who specializes in treating anxious patients.
  • Using sedation dentistry for procedures.
  • Consulting a mental health professional for therapy, such as CBT, to address your phobia.

How can I prepare for a dental appointment if I have dental fear?

  • Schedule a consultation: Meet with the dentist beforehand to discuss your fears and create a plan.
  • Choose a convenient time: Pick a time when you are least likely to feel rushed or stressed.
  • Bring a support person: Having a friend or family member can provide comfort and support.
  • Practice relaxation techniques: Use deep breathing or visualization exercises before and during the appointment.

Can medication help with dental fear?

Yes, medications can help manage dental fear. Options include:

  • Anti-anxiety medications: Taken before the appointment to reduce anxiety.
  • Sedation: Nitrous oxide, oral sedatives, or intravenous sedation during the procedure.

Consult your dentist to determine the best option for your needs.

How can I find a dentist who understands dental fear?

  • Look for recommendations: Ask friends, family, or your general physician for recommendations.
  • Research online: Check reviews and look for dentists who advertise experience in treating anxious patients.
  • Contact the dental office: Call and ask about their approach to handling dental fear and what accommodations they offer.

Can children develop dental fear?

Yes, children can develop dental fear, often due to:

  • Negative experiences or pain during dental visits.
  • Hearing about others’ negative experiences.
  • Fear of the unknown or unfamiliar environment.

To help children, ensure they have positive early experiences, use age-appropriate explanations, and consider visiting a pediatric dentist who specializes in treating children.

What resources are available for people with dental fear?

  • Books and online articles: Educate yourself about dental fear and coping strategies.
  • Support groups: Join online forums or local support groups to share experiences and tips.
  • Professional organizations: Contact organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) for resources and referrals to dentists who specialize in treating dental fear.