Don’t Be Scared! Dealing with Dental Phobia

Here at Falmouth Dental Arts, we always love seeing our patients! However, we know that not everyone loves going to the dentist. This anxiety can range  from mild apprehension to full blown Dental Phobia–a fear so intense that it causes people to avoid dental care altogether. 

Infrequent dental visits have a negative impact on your overall health, which is why we are committed to helping everyone receive the oral health care that meets their needs.  Our team of experienced and compassionate dental professionals strive to help our patients feel comfortable and at ease from the moment they step in our doors. Still feeling a little nervous? Here are some relaxation techniques that we’ve found helpful for many patients:

1.Talk it Out! If you suffer from anxiety or fear caused by the thought of your dentist visit, please let us know!  Getting to know you and your oral health needs is a central part of Falmouth Dental Arts’ approach to oral health care. We care about the well-being of our patients and find that talking about their fears and going through procedures step-by-step can be very comforting.  We are always happy to take the extra time to answer your questions and listen to you!  

2. Music, Podcasts, & Books-on-Tape — Oh My! Bring your headphones to your next dental appointment, or ask to borrow a pair from us!  Many people find it helpful to distract themselves during the dental procedure by immersing themselves in their favorite podcast or tunes.  Find something that puts you at ease and watch the time fly by…you’ll be done with your appointment before you know it!

3. Breathe In…Breathe Out. Try to focus on your breath during your next appointment. Slow, conscious breathing techniques give your body more oxygen and help your nervous system calm down.  This technique is central to yoga and meditation practices and can be extremely helpful for reducing anxiety. It’s something you can start to do at home, in the waiting room, as well as throughout your appointment.

4. Laugh it Off! For patients with more severe dental phobia who need additional support being comfortable during a dental procedure, we offer nitrous oxide (Laughing Gas). When you arrive in our office, you’ll be escorted to your dental chair, given a small mask to fit over your nose, and will breathe in a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen. With nitrous oxide, you maintain consciousness so you can still communicate with Dr. Brunacini and Dr. Karagiorgos throughout the procedure. You’ll just be a little more comfortable and much more relaxed!

Give us a call at 207-791-5900 today to learn more about the use of nitrous oxide and the other techniques we recommend for a relaxing dental visit. Let us provide you with the best oral health care that keeps your teeth healthy and your mind calm!


Top Fears in the Dentist’s Chair

happy dental patientDo you dread the dentist? Millions of people have a dental-related fear that prevents them from receiving the care they need. In some cases, the fear can be so strong that it prevents them from even getting through the office door! Often times, these fears are developed because of a childhood trauma or uncomfortable experience at the dentist. Here are some of the most prevalent examples of dental phobias:

Lack of Control

Lying prone in a chair while a dentist works on your teeth can make patients feel as though they have no control over the situation. We believe that communication is key, and we take the time to address your concerns and learn more about you before any dental work is done. More importantly, after we are about to make an assessment of your teeth and mouth, we make a plan together to address your dental needs so that you do have some control over the situation.

Painful Past Experience

There are few things harder than overcoming a fear based on a past experience. But beginning at our very first appointment with you, we are completely focused and dedicated to building a trusting relationship with you, in order to break down those barriers. Dr. Brian Brunacini and Dr. Glen Knock are highly trained and qualified, and always maintain a consistent dialogue with patients in order to avoid an uncomfortable procedure.

Side Effects of Treatment

General anesthesia, numbing agents like Novocain, and painkillers can leave you with various side effects after a procedure, and some people feel the effects more than others. We always make sure that we find out whether you’ve had a negative reaction to any sedatives or painkillers so that we can find the best way to ease your mind and make you completely comfortable before, during, and after all of your dental procedures.

Indirect Experiences

Sometimes, hearing a “horror story” about another’s experience at the dentist can lead to heightened anxiety over your own visit. Even something as simple as a negative portrayal of dentists in TV shows or movies (thanks, Marathon Man!) can affect your perception of the process. Many cases of mishandled care are the result of a lack of communication between dentist and patient, and we make it our number one priority to ensure that our interaction with our patients is both pleasant and thorough.


When fear gets in the way of an individual’s physical health—we know there’s a problem to be addressed. At FDA, we know how debilitating fear can be and we do our best to bond our experience and expertise with compassion and understanding.