Archive for the ‘Dental Anxiety’ Category

5 Steps to Overcome Dental Anxiety and Fear Completely

Posted on: January 6th, 2019 by Sam Khammar

Being scared to visit a dentist can have serious effects on your health. This can be associated with certain triggers such as needles, drills, and the entire dental setting. Since regular dental check-ups are crucial, you can miss out on learning how to take the steps to make better choices for your teeth and oral health. If you can overcome dental anxiety and fear completely, you can go through your next appointment and get proper dental treatments.

Main causes of dental anxiety and fear

  • Traumatic dental experience
  • Previous trauma to the head and neck
  • Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and generalized anxiety
  • Embarrassment about oral health
  • Worry about the costs

Overcoming dental anxiety

Consider following these five steps to overcome dental anxiety and fear:

1. Recognize your fears

By recognizing your fears, you can understand your feelings better and address them. Write them down, so you can talk about them with your dentist. Your list will aid your dentist to know what causes your anxiety and help you deal with it.

2. Choose the right dentist

If you have dental anxiety, you may select a dentist who will listen to you and acknowledge your fears. They can offer assurance that they understand your fears without making you feel judged. Communicate with them, so that they can gauge your situation and create an action plan suited for your needs. They can listen to your concerns, provide personalized care, and address your worries. These customized dental plans can make appointments less overwhelming and shorter, so you can gain confidence in yourself and your dental team the more you visit.

3. Bring a friend during appointments

Support from a friend or a family member during dental appointments can help ease your anxiety. See if they can accompany you even during the procedure to minimize your fear and anxiety. Choose someone who is not afraid of dentists. Also, schedule an appointment in the morning so you will not have the worry and apprehension take up your thought for the majority of the day.

4. Ask if sedation options may help

When speaking with your dentist about your anxieties, they may have you set up a type of communication system. One signal could indicate that you need a break. Another could be them letting you know that the sensation may change in the next few seconds. You may find relief knowing what to expect from the procedure. If you think it may help, ask if sedatives can be administered to keep you calm and relaxed.

5. Seek professional help

If all these have not worked for you, consider consulting a psychologist. They can provide effective psychological treatments to help you accept routine dental care with less stress. Behavioral and cognitive therapies may also have positive results in terms of attendances at future dental appointments.


Overpowering your fears will not only help you attain optimal dental health but also assist your dentist in performing a job well done. Once you overcome your fears, reward yourself. Buy something nice or go on a weekend getaway. This will help you relate fun activities with dental appointments.

People with dental anxiety and fears have a higher risk of tooth loss and gum disease. Thankfully, the advancements in dental treatments have paved the way to lessen pain during procedures. Physiological and behavioral approaches, along with pharmaceutical methods, can help address your anxiety and phobia. Moreover, dental offices continue to strive in providing a comfortable and reassuring setting for patients.

Request an appointment here: or call Sam Khammar DDS at (609) 242-3464 for an appointment in our Forked River office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Dental Anxiety.


If You Are Afraid of the Dentist – Visit a Forked River Dentist for a Relaxing Experience

Posted on: July 1st, 2016 by Sam Khammar

Forked River DentistAs a Forked River dentist, we have learned that there are many things most of you would rather be doing on a beautiful day than visiting the dentist. While our office is certainly not the most exciting place to be, for those of you who do come in on a regular basis, you know that it is the best place to improve your oral health, create sparkling teeth, and improve your overall quality of life through better oral care. We appreciate the patients that make it a habit of coming in, especially those who fight levels of anxiety to walk through the door.

One of the most prevalent anxieties in the world is dental anxiety. This anxiety is not limited by geography, demographics, or income. In fact, it is probably true that wherever you find a practicing dentist, you will find people that are too anxious or afraid to take care of their teeth by working with one. For between 9% and 20% of the patients that visit the dentist, that anxiety is very present and ranges between mild stress to almost panic. We understand this anxiety, and will do everything in our ability to help you overcome it. When you consider that 26% of the country will not even seek out dental care, unless they find themselves in an emergency dental situation, it becomes apparent that one of the key areas where dentists have to make an impact is in reducing the psychological fears people have of coming to see us. As a Forked River dentist, we have worked diligently to create an atmosphere of trust so that you are not fighting anxiety every time you walk through our doors, and so that when you seek treatment for the first time, you know that you can come back to a safe and comfortable environment.

Here are a few ways you can help reduce some of that anxiety.

When you visit our Forked River dentist office, we are going to give you  two tools to help fight your anxiety. First, we will work with you to identify what the anxiety is. When you do not know what precisely is causing you to have anxiety, the fear is allowed to grow into something much bigger than it is. By identifying the exact cause of your anxiety, be it needles or a loss of control, we can isolate it and help you by working through or around it. Secondly, we are going to help you have a greater understanding of the things we do as your Forked River dentist. We believe that knowledge is the greatest enemy of anxiety. The more you know about what we do, how we do it, and the tools that we use to get the job done, the less likely you are to be anxious. Also, you will get to see the extraordinary precautions we take to ensure your safety and security, and gain an understanding that you are always in control. This will help to ease some of those anxieties as well.  If you need medication or sedation, we can discuss those options as well.