Dental Phobia

Dental phobia (or odontophobia) is fear or anxiety experienced when faced with the likelihood of dental surgery or even a simple dental check-up in extreme cases. It is not an unusual response as one in every four people face the same problem.

Dental phobia can be caused by many different factors, for example, post traumatic stress brought on by past treatment. These can have nothing to do with dentistry but may produce a link between all medical procedures or professionals. Some patients feel a lack of control as the dentist is seemingly ‘in charge’ of the situation. Our dentists at the Portman Dental Clinic in Maidnhead understand that every patients’ uneasiness is singular and we are equipped to help.

Regular dentist appointments are an important part of general health. Avoiding treatment can have unpleasant results so we try to give patients the best and most compassionate care to make their appointments as smooth a ride as possible.

How do we help?

Our entire team of dental staff has undergone special training in using techniques and technology needed to aid those with dental phobia. Bellow follows a more in-depth look at the ways we can help or feel free to call us to discuss any specific needs or concerns.


Our staff work in a laid-back environment where patients can feel unthreatened and at ease. We provide a peaceful reception area with reading materials and other modes of distraction. Our clinicians make it a priority to talk to you about your worries, which they use to adjust your appointment to make it as stress free as possible.

Gentle dentistry and technique

An often overlooked aspect of gentle dentistry is simply talking to patients. which builds trust. Going over the details of what the dentist will do and leading patients through each step of the procedure is key to letting them know what they can expect, which will ultimately help alleviate anxiety.

Sometimes it’s just finding less painful ways to administer things such as numbing injections that can calm a patient. Agreeing on a signal for when the patient is in distress can boost confidence and create a sense of control.

Sedation and technology

Our ever expanding research into sedation techniques enables us to offer options for oral sedation such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and other intravenous sedatives. These techniques are all in aid of patient relaxation and comfort during any procedure.

Behavioral techniques

We provide the full extent of customer care of which we are capable and there are some things you can do to make your dental obligations a less taxing experience:

  • Booking an early morning appointment gives you less time to worry about it and then you’ll have the rest of the day to recover.
  • Your first appointment is always just a consultation. A chance to meet your dentist and talk to them about your anxieties, helping to build trust.
  • The buddy system: Someone to hold your hand or distract you with chatter is always handy so bring a friend or relative along with you.
  • Ask someone you trust who’s been to a dentist before, if they had a good experience it may alleviate your concerns.
  • When you come in for treatment, agree on a safety signal. You’ll feel more in control given the power to stop the procedure at any point.
  • Start small. Having your teeth cleaned is non-invasive and can help you get comfortable with the more routine aspects of dentistry.

We take pride in offering the most comfortable care for our patients. Making sure they have a safe and relaxed experience makes necessary repeat visits less traumatic, ensuring patients have healthier, long lasting teeth.


“Please can you pass on thanks to your dentist for me? They extracted my tooth about two weeks ago – and made the whole experience easy. They explained the procedure & treatment very well. Can’t remember a thing whilst having the tooth removed, (sedated) came home and had a few quality hours sleep, went to work the next morning and have not needed pain killers, no problems at all encountered. I have virtually forgotten all about it and find myself already eating on the side – Which I’ve not done in years!

From dreading the procedure – I’d now happily recommend it!

Thank you”