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Common Dental Fears & How to Overcome Them

Dr. Richard Champagne is a gentle dentist who is dedicated to helping all of his patients achieve outstanding smiles. He and all of the doctors at Champagne Smiles are particularly pleased to help individuals suffering from dental fears and phobias overcome their anxiety and receive the treatments they need. Champagne Smiles and his team understand that dental fears and phobias are real conditions that affect thousands of men and women, and they treat their patients with the utmost respect and compassion. To assure you that you are not the only one experiencing dental anxiety, the doctors of Champagne Smiles have compiled a list of more common dental fears and their solutions.

“People often express their fear of dental office. However, in your office the atmosphere is so pleasant, the staff is so knowledgeable and helpful that I always look forward to my visits. One can see how much you care for your patients by constantly investing in the most modern cutting edge equipment and the many seminars you attend to learn about the most up to date techniques in general and cosmetic dentistry.” – Dr. Abraham Sadon


Most patients who avoid dentists are afraid of pain. Unfortunately, this fear is often caused by a bad experience with insensitive or unprofessional dentists. In addition, some people are extremely afraid of pain in general. Another cause of fear is the worry that the anesthesia will wear off in the middle of the treatment.

Fortunately, modern pain relieving techniques have virtually eliminated pain from dental treatments. The doctors at Champagne Smiles will discuss your pain issues, assess your anesthesia needs, and use appropriate local anesthetics and numbing gels to make you comfortable throughout the entire procedure. If you are afraid of needles that are used to inject the local anesthetic, they can apply a numbing cream to your gums and use the needle when your eyes are closed. To further enhance your comfort, the doctors at Champagne Smiles use a variety of sedation techniques, such as nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation in NJ. These techniques make you deeply relaxed and block the fear response in your brain. However, you will be awake enough to tell them if you begin to feel uncomfortable or need additional medications.

Dental Drill

Most people do not like the thought of the dental drill, but some patients are especially sensitive and fearful. Sometimes, the sight and sound of the dental drill can cause a panic attack or severe anxiety. Some people also worry that the drill might slip and injure them.

In order to alleviate these fears, the doctors at Champagne Smiles take time to explain the safety mechanisms of the drill and to show how patients should signal if they want the doctor to stop at any time. Champagne Smiles and his team also offer very effective sedation techniques, such as nitrous oxide sedation – a method that makes patients tranquil and very calm. Distractions (such as listening to relaxing music on the mp3 player or watching TV) also work very well in decreasing patients’ fears. Many people also find a soft blanket or a squeezable stress ball very calming.

Gagging and Choking

People with sensitive gag reflexes are often afraid that they will begin to gag uncontrollably during dental treatment. They should know that some gagging is perfectly normal, and the doctors at Champagne Smiles are very experienced in treating even severe gaggers. Some of the solutions include a throat numbing spray and breathing through the nose. If the cause of gagging is nervousness and fear, sedation with nitrous oxide is usually very effective in decreasing the reflex.

Similar to gagging, many people worry that they might feel like they’re choking on their own saliva during dental treatment. Like many others, this fear might be caused by a past experience with an uncaring dentist who did not monitor their saliva levels properly. One of the most effective ways to resolve this issue is to establish clear communication with the dentist – i.e., to agree how you will signal if you begin to feel too much saliva in your mouth.


Unfortunately, many people avoid dentists because they are afraid of being scolded for not taking proper care of their teeth or “letting them go” for many years. Dr. Richard Champagne would like to assure you that, as most dentists, he has seen it all – many missing teeth, broken teeth, severe decay, exposed roots, extreme discoloration and gum disease, numerous cavities and foul breath. No matter what the condition of your mouth, the doctors at Champagne Smiles will treat you with respect and compassion, and they will focus on the future, not the past. They will work together with you to help you achieve healthy, beautiful teeth, and to maintain them for the rest of your life.

Loss of Control

Sometimes, the cause of dental fears is the feeling of utmost helplessness and loss of control people experience while in the dental chair. In order to alleviate this concern, Champagne Smiles dentists take the time to explain exactly what will happen during the treatment, and to keep patients informed as the treatment progresses. In addition, they are extremely sensitive to their patients’ body language and always slow down or stop if patients become uncomfortable. The dentists at Champagne Smiles believe that open communication throughout the procedure is vital in keeping their patients relaxed and feeling in control throughout the treatment.

Dental Phobia

In rare cases, patients suffer from dental phobia – an irrational fear of dentists that causes complete avoidance of any treatment. In addition to psychological symptoms (such as extreme fear and anxiety attacks), dental phobia can also cause numerous physical symptoms (such as cold sweats, racing heart, high blood pressure, dizziness and fainting). The cause of dental phobia is often a very bad past experience, especially if it occurred during childhood. In addition, dental phobia is more common in people who suffer from other psychological conditions, such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

Champagne Smiles and all the dentists at Champagne Smiles are experienced in treating people suffering from various dental phobias, and they use a customized approach to help them receive the procedures they need. Communication and show-and-tell are often crucial in helping overcome irrational fears, and these techniques are usually combined with sedation dentistry techniques. In cases of severe phobias, Champagne Smiles and his team might recommend IV conscious sedation – a form of general anesthesia that causes a profound sense of well-being and relaxation, makes the time go by extremely fast, and erases any memories of the procedure.

Schedule Your Consultation at Champagne Smiles Today

Dr. Richard Champagne and all the dentists at Champagne Smiles encourage you to take the first step toward improving your dental health by scheduling a personal appointment to learn more about the benefits of sedation dentistry by calling Champagne Smiles offices at 732-972-0918 They will respect your dental fears and phobias and develop a treatment plan that will keep you completely comfortable throughout your procedures.

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