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Afraid of going to the dentist? Don’t be ashamed. More than 10% of the U.S. population has dental phobia, that’s over 31,000,000 people! While many dentists will do their best to make your visit as pain-free and fearless as possible, sometimes you just can’t get over the initial phobia. Irvine Dental Dr. Neda Khodai is an expert on helping her patients overcome dental phobia, with proven results. To help get you started, we’ve compiled a few tips and some basic information on this common problem.

Dental Phobia?

Most people think of phobia as just being afraid of something, but it is actually more severe. Phobias are an irrational fear, meaning they cause distress and impact your life in a negative way. Someone with dental phobia isn’t just anxious at the idea of going to the dentist, it causes them severe discomfort. They even worry about the dentist when it isn’t even relevant. If you have a shiver go down your spine when you see a mouthwash commercial, you may have dental phobia.


Dental phobias are developed in the same way as other phobias, typically through negative experiences. Maybe a dentist hurt you when you were young, or you were embarrassed at a dental office. There are many reasons for dental phobias to develop, and sometimes they aren’t even related to dentists. It has been shown that people who were bullied in school or had fearful parents sometimes develop phobias.


Dental phobia is slightly beneficial in a few very rare cases. Some people who suffer dental phobia are so afraid of the dental chair that they take every effort to keep their dental health perfect. For the rest of us, it can lead to tooth damage, self-esteem issues, and long term health problems. Regular teeth cleanings can fight off strokes and heart attacks, and the dentist’s office is the best place to screen for oral cancer. Without regular dental care by a dental professional, gum diseases and infections can develop and cause serious bodily harm.

Fighting Dental Phobia

Many dentists want you to stay healthy and will do everything they can to help with your dental phobia. The first step is letting the office know when you set up your appointment. Irvine Dentist Dr. Neda Khodai has found that sedation dentistry is a great stepping stone to help fight dental phobia. Meditation, calming music, and television are great distractions from the dental chair and are used by millions of sufferers of dental phobia.

Find The Right Dentist

If you are afraid of the dentist’s office, make sure your dentist knows and appreciates the situation. If your dentist isn’t willing to work with you and help you overcome this problem, it’s time to find a new office. Going to a dentist and having a bad experience will only negatively reinforce your phobia, and can set back your progress and health by years. If you are in the Irvine or Orange County areas of California, contact Barranca Dental to set up an appointment that will help you overcome dental phobia.

Other Resources

Dental fear central is a great website with a lot of resources and support forums for dental phobia. If you have read through our article and still can’t seem to make the call to set up an appointment, try giving their site a read.

Contact Us! Irvine Dentist Dr. Neda Khodai

Irvine Dentist Dr. Neda Khodai is ready to talk about your dental phobia, or to just schedule a regular cleaning. Call us at 949-553-1111 or click below to get in touch with Barranca Dental Excellence in Irvine, Orange County California. Se Habla Español!

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