Dealing with Your Dental Phobia

family dental care in Newberg

Family dental care in Newberg ranks as an incredibly important part of helping patients maintain and improve the health of their smiles. However, despite the many benefits offered by receiving regular family dental care in Newberg, many people actively avoid dental care due to experiencing dental phobia.

Also commonly referred to as a fear of the dentist, between 9 to 15 percent of Americans say they avoid visiting the dentist due to dental phobias, according to the American Dental Association. Whether due to a fear of needles, involuntary reaction to the sound of dental drills, or just due to feeling uncomfortable having a stranger invade their personal space, there are a variety of reasons that keep people from receiving the dental care they require.

Unfortunately, while both brushing and flossing play an important role in helping to maintain the health of our teeth, these habits cannot protect our teeth from the effects of decay and disease alone. Even more troubling, research has shown that patients experiencing tooth loss, gum disease, and tooth decay have a significantly higher risk for developing a range of chronic illnesses that include everything from heart disease and diabetes to dementia and stroke.

Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons why most people avoid the dentist, and what can be done to overcome them.

Fear of Being Judged

For many people, the idea of being judge by their dentist is enough to keep them away. It’s easy to imagine going in for an exam and hearing how you don’t brush enough or floss enough. Worse yet, you may feel shamed by a dentist who says your smile doesn’t look very good because you don’t do enough to give it the care it needs.

Unfortunately, avoiding the dentist out of a fear of being judged for having poor oral health only makes it more likely that you develop the type of bad oral health you were afraid of being judged for having. What are the odds you’ll suddenly be willing to see a dentist if your oral health becomes worse and potentially more embarrassing?

At Newberg Family Dental, Dr. McLeod will never embarrass or belittle a patient for the current state of their oral health. While Dr. McLeod happily provides tips and instructions on how to improve your oral health, she never looks for ways to tear down patients for not having a smile they can feel confident in showing. However, by working together on your oral health, Dr. McLeod can help you feel and look your best.

Poor Past Experience

Dentists can have bad days, just like everybody else. Unfortunately, for patients who experience those bad days, the trauma can linger on for years. Just one experience with a dentist that didn’t make your wellbeing their top priority can be all it takes to cause you to avoid receiving future dental care.

Once again we see that by avoiding the dentist you don’t provide your oral health with the support and care it needs to thrive. Yes, having a bad experience at the dentist can certainly give you pause before scheduling another appointment, but the value of regular dental care really makes setting aside that experience a necessity.

Dr. McLeod understands that for many patients visiting the dentist ranks as a pretty unfavorable experience. That’s why at Newberg Family Dental, every member of our team goes out of their way to create a comfortable and relaxing environment where the care of our patients always comes first. If at any time you don’t understand or like what’s happening, simply ask us to stop and we will happily talk you through the procedure or discuss with you how you’re feeling at that moment.

A Fear of Pain

By far the most common reason patients avoid visiting the dentist is out of a fear of pain. The idea of drills and needles can send shivers up the spine of even the bravest of patients. It’s understandable if you want to avoid feeling any discomfort at the dentist, who wouldn’t? So take comfort in knowing that dentistry today is more pain free than ever.

Thanks to advances in dental technique, technologies, and pain management practices, a trip to the dentist causes almost no discomfort. If a fear of pain is what keeps you from receiving the family dental care in Newberg your oral health requires, we ask that you give our office a try. Not only will you be pleasantly surprised by just how comfortable dental care is today, but you’ll find Dr. McLeod incredibly open and honest about what you can expect from every treatment.


Avoiding the dentist due to a phobia only increases your risk for developing the type of oral health issues that can permanently damage the health of your smile. Don’t take the risk by taking the first step towards overcoming your fear by contacting our office today!