Dental One Associates of Dunwoody
5901-B Peachtree Dunwoody Road NE, Suite 250, Atlanta, GA 30328

Conquering Childhood and Adult Dentist Phobia


If your fear of the dentist keeps you from getting treatment for tooth problems, you may be among the 80 percent of American adults who have some form of dental anxiety. Mild dental anxiety can make dentist visits uncomfortable, but if you feel extreme terror or panic at the mention of dentistry, you may suffer from a more serious type of disorder called dentist phobia. Both conditions can lead to periodontal problems, infection, and even tooth loss. Children and women are at higher risk, but dental anxiety can affect anyone.

Causes of Dental Anxiety

Dental fear often starts in childhood after a negative experience, but a recent study conducted by Delta Dental in conjunction with National Anxiety Month in April showed that parents who are afraid of the dentist could unconsciously be passing their dental phobia along to their kids. Among participants, the number of parents who were afraid of the dentist closely matched the number of kids with the same feelings. If you have children, you can avoid instilling fear by addressing your own anxiety and focusing on positive aspects of dental care when discussing it with your kids. Other factors involved in dental fear include post-traumatic stress disorder, fear of needles, embarrassment about teeth, and a history of abuse. 

8 Ways to Ease Your Fear of the Dentist

  1. Find a dentist who specializes in treating anxious patients.
  2. Practice relaxation techniques such as guided imagery or deep breathing.
  3. Determine a hand signal to alert your dentist when you’re feeling dental anxiety during treatment.
  4. Share your dental anxiety with your dentist.
  5. Ask for a detailed explanation of dental treatments.
  6. Before your dentist appointment, avoid caffeine and sugar, which may add to dental anxiety.
  7. Take advantage of distractions provided by the clinic, or bring your own music or media device.
  8. See a professional counselor for your dental phobia.

4 Types of Sedation Dentistry

Following are typical methods of sedation dentistry used to help prevent and ease dental phobia:

  1. Sedation with pills
  2. Nitrous oxide (inhaled) sedation
  3. IV (intravenous) sedation
  4. General anesthesia

To learn about our family dentistry practice in Atlanta, call Dental One Associates of Dunwoody today at (404) 381-1490 or make an appointment.

Dental One Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Atlanta. With 8 affiliated practices throughout Georgia, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Dental One Associates of Dunwoody, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Dental One Associates of Dunwoody.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
Service at a level that is second to none! Awesome staff very friendly and attentive by far the best dental experience I have ever had!
Billy M.
First off I would like to say thanks to doctor Sarah and her team for doing an awesome job. I have been terrified of the dentist for many years due to a bad experience, but doctor Sarah has changed […]
Jarvis D.
I felt comfortable at the office. i also felt I was given the proper treatment.
Equilla L.
They were friendly, honest, not pushy, and welcoming. I had a great experience.
Patrick G.
The communication is subperb. You are a partner in your treatment plan.
Amy C.
Friendly knowledgeable staff. Dr. Thornton is great!
Michael M.
The staff is on top of their game. They are wonderful.
Nefertiti H.
I had a great experience in your office & appreciated the professionalism of the staff.
Elizabeth H.
Never any wait, staff super friendly and professional
Grace M.
I’d definitely recommend Dr. Sarah Thornton and her wonderful staff without any hesitation. They are efficient, great at what they do and make sure you are comfortable every step of the way — […]
Deepika R.
Almost Pain free dental work. They care about how I want my smile to look. They need to use a new lab though because the lab is good for bridges.
Nikiah P.
The doctor and hygienist were thorough, informative and considerate
James R.
Outstanding. Service and great experience thank you
Antonio A.
Great service!
Chetan P.
Very efficient professional and accommodating.
Ann T.
The Doctor and all the staff members were very knowledgeable and friendly. Thank you!
Ogie T.
Staff always friendly when I come in.
Carolyn W.
Thoughtful assessment of my needs (as a new patient), and very good, gentle cleaning.
Patrick E.
After a long search, I’ve finally found a dentist that fits my needs. The entire staff is prompt and professional. I’ve taken my small child with me twice and everyone was very accommodating. I […]
Equilla L.
Always a wonderful job. Thanks!
Jonathan A.
We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
Learn More

We accept most insurance plans and will be happy to help you understand the coverage that you have. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum insurance benefits for all covered services.

No Insurance? No Worries! See our discounts and offers here

Office Hours
  • Monday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM
  • Thursday 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
Get in touch:
  • Phone: (404) 381-1490
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