Dental Phobia and Anxiety: Relief with Sedation Dentistry | Houston

Do you suffer from dental phobia (also known as dental anxiety and dental fear)? Are you frightened about dental visits? If so you’re not alone. In fact many people are so afraid to go to the dentist, that they cancel appointments  – or don’t schedule them in the first place. 

Unfortunately people with dental anxiety and dental phobia can wind up delaying routine dental care for far too many years. Sometimes even decades. As a result these people will wind up with periodontal disease or decayed and broken teeth.

Dental Phobia

What are symptoms of dental phobia and dental anxiety?

  • You’re anxious the night before a dental appointment. You might even have insomnia.
  • You are nauseous or physically ill on the day of dental appointments. Or maybe you develop a headache or back pain.
  • When you see dental instruments, hear a dental drill – or even see the dentist’s white coat – you have trouble breathing.

How common are dental anxiety and dental phobia?

 Dental phobia and dental anxiety are extremely common. In fact, dental anxiety statistics report that 9% – 20% of Americans avoid going to the dentist because of dental anxiety. Meaning? Many millions of Americans avoid dental care every year because they are simply afraid of visiting the dentist.

 Chew Good. Look Good. Feel Good.


It can be easy to lose sight of a few important things. One thing which often gets overlooked is the importance of your oral health. At Antoine Dental Center in Houston, TX, we’re proud to offer the convenience of same-day dental cleanings and exams and quality procedures for everything from braces to dental implants. Schedule an appointment and see why our patients love us.

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What is the difference between dental anxiety and dental phobia?

Although many folks use the words “anxiety” and “phobia” interchangeably – thinking they mean the same thing –  they’re a little bit different.

Dental Anxiety

People will dental anxiety have a sense of uneasiness when it’s time for their appointments. They’ll have exaggerated or unfounded worries or fears.

Dental Phobia

People with dental phobia suffer a bit more. They’re not simply stressed. They are absolutely terrified of the dentist and in a state of panic.

The Dangers of Avoiding the Dentist 

Unfortunately if you avoid the dentist for too long, you can develop both painful tooth issues as well as troubling emotional shame. 

After all, if you allow your teeth to become decayed, infected, discolored or damaged, you’ll feel insecure about your smile. Or you might even feel self conscious about speaking – because you won’t want people to see your teeth.  As a result both your personal and professional lives will suffer. 

Plus folks with dental anxiety or dental phobia will become more prone to health issues. Why? Research shows that bad oral health leads to a variety of health problems – like heart disease and lung infections.

Causes of dental phobia and dental anxiety 

People get dental anxieties and dental phobias for 3 main reasons. 

1. Bad Past Experiences  

If you experienced a particularly painful dentist visit, then you might be triggered to think of all dental visits as painful. 

2. Shyness and Embarrassment

Some folks feel embarrassed about someone looking inside their mouth. Or they might feel discomfort about a hygienist’s face or dentist’s body being so close to them. 

3. Nervousness or Phobia

This may seem obvious, but some people just have a phobia of going to the dentist! There isn’t anything logical about the phobia, but it is real. Just like fear of heights or public speaking – a phobia of the dentist is a real thing.

How can you overcome dental phobia and dental anxiety? 

At Antoine Dental Center in Houston, we understand your feelings and fears. We sympathize and have patience because we know that dental phobia is real. We want to ease your dental anxiety in any way we can. 

In order to ease your anxiety, we offer Sedation Dentistry. (We will describe more about this “dental sedation” in a moment – down below.)

Plus at Antoine Dental Center, we also offer ongoing, empathic emotional support during each and every dental procedure.

We Offer A Range of Dental Anxiety Management Tools

  • Before we begin any dental treatments, we start by ensuring that all of our patients feel comfortable. We take the time to explain what a dental treatment will feel like – and how long the procedure will be for.
  • We’ll answer all questions you have regarding your treatment before, during, and after a treatment.
  • We offer complimentary drinks to help you relax before your appointment.
  • During your treatment, we can provide you with blankets and pillows, while allowing you to watch TV or listen to music.
  • While doing a dental procedure, we will regularly check in with you – and ask permission to keep going. We even offer you the chance to stop the dental procedure  – by asking you to raise your hand. And we also offer the option to take breaks  – if you want.

We Are Famous for Our Caring Dental Anxiety Treatment Options

When you come to Antoine Dental Center, you can feel confident that we’ll never belittle you for feeling nervous or anxious before a dental treatment.

We are acutely aware of how dental phobias affect different patients, so we’ll do everything in our power to make you feel comfortable in our office.

The ultimate tool for combatting dental phobia: Sedation Dentistry

At our comfortable and modern office we have the ultimate tool to help ease dental anxiety and dental phobia: Sedation dentistry.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is a sure-fire way to ensure you feel comfortable during any of our restorative or cosmetic dentistry treatments.

Our Sedation Dentist offers several types of Dental Sedation:

  • nitrous oxide sedation
  • oral sedation
  • IV sedation

Have a Laugh with Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Nitrous Oxide sedation is available for all the cosmetic and restorative dentistry treatments at our Houston dental practice.

You may have heard of this form of sedation dentistry referred to as laughing gas. This is a great and safe option for patients with mild to moderate dental phobia.

Your Sedation Dentist will attach a small nosepiece to your before you begin treatment. Plus, your Sedation Dentist will then carefully administer a special blend of nitrous oxide and oxygen.

Almost immediately, you’ll begin to feel light and happy. This relaxed feeling will last throughout your treatment. However you’ll still be able to communicate with your sedation dentist as necessary. The relaxed feeling will wear off after your treatment, making it safe to drive home after your procedure.

Oral Sedation for Heightened Relaxation

Did you know that oral sedation is quickly becoming a popular option in sedation dentistry? At the Antoine Dental Center in Houston, TX, we recommend oral sedation for patients with moderate to high levels of dental phobia. Oral sedation is administered in simple pill form. Your sedation dentist will prescribe you a sedative to take before your treatment.

Oral sedation is an excellent option if you need to undergo a lengthy restorative or cosmetic dentistry treatment. In addition, oral sedation will ensure you feel relaxed throughout your treatment. It is common for oral sedation to sometimes lasts slightly longer than your dental treatment. So you’ll need to have someone drive you home after your treatment.

Deep Sedation with IV Sedation

IV sedation is the highest level of sedation available for dental treatments. The Antoine Dental Center is one of the very few offices in Houston with a sedation dentist certified to offer IV sedation. IV sedation is administered intravenously, and produces such a deep level of relaxation that you likely won’t remember any of your treatment.

We recommend IV sedation for patients with intense dental phobia. IV sedation is also extremely useful if you have a bad gag reflex, or need to undergo several dental treatments in one sitting.

If  You Have Dental Anxiety or Phobia, Make An Appointment Today

Do you need help overcoming your dental anxiety or dental phobia? Remember: Going without needed dental work can cost you your smile! Let the caring Sedation Dentists at the Antoine Dental Center in Houston, TX, help you to overcome your dental fears. Schedule a consultation by calling 713-364-8990 to learn more about nitrous oxide sedation (laughing gas), oral sedation, or IV sedation.

 Chew Good. Look Good. Feel Good.


It can be easy to lose sight of a few important things. One thing which often gets overlooked is the importance of your oral health. At Antoine Dental Center in Houston, TX, we’re proud to offer the convenience of same-day dental cleanings and exams and quality procedures for everything from braces to dental implants. Schedule an appointment and see why our patients love us.

Learn More About Our Services


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