General dentistry

Nervous patients

Don’t let dental nerves, anxiety or phobias prevent you from having the smile you deserve. The Oxford Smile Clinics is one of the leading dental phobia-certified practices in the county, and we excel in helping people like you beat your dental anxieties.

The ugly truth about dental phobia

If you suffer from dental nerves, anxiety or phobias, you might have put off routine dental care for years or even decades. We’ve found that people with dental phobia are at a higher risk of early tooth loss and gum disease, which can lead to many other issues, including jawbone deterioration and heart disease.

Avoiding the dentist can also have an emotional impact as well, as damaged or discoloured teeth can make you feel insecure or self-conscious.

Face your fears

We are here to help you face your fears and ensure that you are able to access the dental care you need. Here are some ways in which we’ll help you to overcome your concerns:

Talk to your dentist
The most important thing you can do is to tell us about your worries. We can then put measures in place to make your treatment easier and more comfortable. Our dentists can take you through your upcoming exam or treatment step-by-step to ensure you know what to expect and provide you with recommendations on how to relax during an appointment.

Breathing exercises
Deep breathing exercises can help you relax and feel calmer. Closing your eyes, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth in a deliberate manner can help to ease any nerves or anxieties you may have.

Bring a friend or relative
The support of a friend or a relative can often be enough to relieve anxiety.*
* If you are planning on bringing a friend or relative to your appointment with you, please contact us first to ensure that this can be arranged, as this may not be possible for all treatments.

Anxiety can build up in the dental surgery waiting room or in the dental chair. Many patients use meditation techniques to reduce stress and promote calmness during the appointment or treatment.

Anti-anxiety medication
If necessary, we can talk to you about being prescribed a short-acting anti-anxiety medication to help lessen anxiety.

If needed, we can administer an IV sedation for anxiety free dental treatment. Intravenous sedation is the most predictable and powerful method of sedation. Patients feel relaxed and comfortable and lengthy procedures pass quickly.

Patient Experience

Delivering first class experiences

Our team take pride in providing great care to ensure that your visit is as relaxing as it can be. We want you to feel at home in our warm and friendly clinic.

Patient Experience

Delivering first class experiences

Our team take pride in providing great care to ensure that your visit is as relaxing as it can be. We want you to feel at home in our warm and friendly clinic.


What are the symptoms of dental phobia?
Symptoms of dental phobia include:

  • Feeling tense or having trouble sleeping before a dental appointment
  • Increasing nerves when you’re in the waiting room
  • Feeling strong negative emotions when you think about going to the dentist
  • Feeling physically ill when you think of visiting the dentist
  • Panicking or struggling to breath when you see dental instruments and/or they are placed near your mouth
What causes dental phobia?

Dental phobia can develop for a number of different reasons, including:

  • A fear of pain, often caused by the memory of early dental visits that were negative or that took place before modern, pain-free dental advances became available
  • Loss of control and feeling helpless. It’s common to develop phobias about situations in which you have no control, and this feeling of helplessness can trigger anxiety in the dental chair

Embarrassment about your teeth, especially if you feel self-conscious about how they look or if you haven’t been to the dentist for a long time

What happens if dental phobia isn’t treated?
People with dental phobia may also suffer from poorer general health, as poor oral health has been linked to serious conditions such as lung infections and heart disease.

If dental phobia isn’t treated, it will only get worse over time. However, it’s treatable, and we are here to help you overcome your anxiety, and have a positive comfortable dental experience.

How common is dental phobia or anxiety?
Fear of the dentist is incredibly common, and it’s estimated to affect around a third of the UK population to varying levels. For many patients, dental phobia is disturbing but not disabling. Patients should discuss any anxiety when booking the appointment and with the dentist before any exam or treatment.