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

Overcoming Dental Fear

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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 assistant cleaning my teeth was very pleasant and very knowledgeable concerning my teeth problem and how it is affected by my diabetes.
Charles C.
I trust my dentist completely.
Barry M.
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.
I’ve been coming to Dr. Gorman for over 20 years and have always received excellent care. He listens and takes my best interest of my visits.
Yvonne W.
I was very happy with my services!
Willie R.
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.
Dr. Gorman is a very good dentist.
Elyse S.
Clean friendly.Dr. Gorman has been there for a long time. I trust him.
April S.
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.
Very pleasant experience. I come here regularly and am never disappointed. Hygienist Elena was excellent today.
Nicholas L.
I was taken on time and I was out 1 hr later (which was the length of time I was told it would take)
Pearl Z.
Dr. Challagulla is AWESOME!!! I had my first root canal and it was better than expected. A day later and I feel no pain. Thank you guys!!!!
Tyesha H.
The staff is very friendly and efficient. I like how the doctors and dental assistants explain each step of the procedures along the way.
Alicia H.
Clean and professional atmosphere
Caesar C.
I just love the atmosphere there and all the friendly staff.
Marquis S.
It was the most thourough dental examination I have ever had. Everyone has a great bedside manner.
Michelle C.
Everyone in the office provides great customer service. Dr. Snyder is very nice, calm and caring. He is very gentle with the procedures and ensures that his patients understand what is being done.
Ciara W.
Great office an atmosphere.. Staff is great and Dr. Oppeheim made me feel very comfortable
Erica F.
Great experience today. Very professional and courteous staff. Front desk receptionist Cheryl and Hygentist Jennifer were the best. Can’t leave out Dr. “G” he has a way of putting a smile on […]
Karen W.
Amazing staff
Charlotte T.
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.

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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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