Valley Dental Associates
9199 Reisterstown Road, Suite 206B, Owings Mills, MD 21117

Overcoming Dental Fear


Going to the dentist can be very stressful for many people—so stressful, in fact, that it can evoke irrational dental anxiety and panic attacks. Fear of the dentist often stems from a traumatic experience, fear of the unknown, or an environment that may have fueled the distress. Regardless of why someone fears the dentist, it is a trepidation that must be overcome for the sake of oral health. Skipping routine dental visits can be very harmful to not only the health of the teeth, gums and other tissues of the mouth, but to overall health as well.

Causes of Dental Anxiety and Fear

Dentist anxiety and dental fear can occur for many different reasons. These are the top factors that contribute to dental anxiety:

  • Pain. In adults 24 years and older, a survey revealed that six percent of people in this age group avoid the dentist over fear of pain. Subjects had skipped a full year of dental visits to avoid the possibility of discomfort in the dentist’s chair. Researchers speculate that this may be related to traumatic dental experiences prior to current advances in dentistry. These advances now deliver a relatively pain-free dental experience for a majority of patients.
  • Feeling helpless or out of control. Many phobias are correlated with a person’s belief that they have no control over the situation. When reclined in the dentist’s chair, a light shining in your eyes, mouth agape, and someone standing over you with sharp tools, asking you not to move, well, you may feel a little vulnerable and not in control. Some people get anxious in scenarios like this and skip visits to the dentist to avoid this exact situation. For these individuals, a specialty dentist may be the solution.
  • Feeling embarrassed or judged. For some, having a stranger poke around in the mouth can feel invasive. Crooked teeth, bad breath, and stains can lead many people to feel embarrassed about a dental visit. This fear leads them to skip visits. However, like most professionals, you should know that your dentist is not judging you. He or she is there to help you overcome your concerns and keep you in good health.
  • Negative past experiences. Previous dental experiences that were a particular source of discomfort—mental or physical—can ignite dental anxiety that transcends the years. Whether it was extensive pain or bad service, it can be tough to overcome such memories.  Professional counseling may be necessary to reverse the dentist anxiety.

To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Owings Mills, call Valley Dental Associates today at (443) 898-1240 or make an appointment.

Valley Dental Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Owings Mills. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Valley Dental Associates, 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 Valley Dental Associates.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
The only dentist office I’ve been to in my life. Everyone is so great and helpful. Very pleasant place.
Loren I.
The staff is very friendly and the office is very clean. I had a root canal done and the pain level was about slim to none. Dr. Oppenheim is the best!!!
Denise D.
Valley Dental Associates has a great staff….they have always been friendly and accommodating to my needs. My first time there was a dental emergency, (I did have an actual first visit appointment […]
Arlene K.
It was the most thourough dental examination I have ever had. Everyone has a great bedside manner.
Michelle C.
patient care, as soon as you walk to the check in desk
Lacretia C.
I trust my dentist completely.
Barry M.
I had my first appointment here last week, based on a recommendation. I was so pleased with the visit. The staff was friendly and professional, and I was taken back almost immediately. Dr. Gorman […]
Regina R.
Every aspect of the process was professional, knowledgeable and friendly.
Joseph V.
Everyone is so nice. The hygienist I had (Matt) was very patient with me, and cleaned my teeth gently. He was very personable. Dr. Gorman is always friendly, knows I don’t care to come to dentist […]
Michele S.
elena did a great job cleaning my teeth
Steven K.
I really liked the atmosphere along with how knowledgeable everyone was at this dental office.
Avril B.
I love them. They are the best. My husband and I have been with them for 15 years. You are guaranteed great service.
Debbie I.
Dr. Gorman is a very good dentist.
Elyse S.
I am very satisfied with the service I receive. Always courteous and conscientious of my dental care.
Ray H.
Mathew is terrific
Mark B.
responded promptly and effectively to a dental need
Joel L.
I was well satisfied with my diagnosis.
Hildegarde F.
Great experience with this office. The staff was really helpful in getting me in on a short notice. Dr. Challagulla is an excellent doctor, very attentive to patient’s needs and concerns. I usually […]
Oksana L.
I have already recommended two of my friends to this office. They are very professional and friendly.
Alicia H.
I thought this particular treatment was going to be painful during and after but that wasn’t the case. It was a good experience (for the dentist) , and even a better experience afterwards when […]
Christeen H.
We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
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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 - 7:00 PM
  • Tuesday 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
  • Wednesday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
Get in touch:
  • Phone: (443) 898-1240
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