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Smiles, everyone

Nearly half the population would list “dentist’s office” as a place that sparks feelings of anxiety. aims to soothe those savage fears.

In my life, I’ve done a few inadvisable things: walked atop a moving freight train, took in a homeless tarantula, and lived across from a stolen auto chop shop. Yet, nothing has thrown my heart into my throat with more ease than the sight of a dentist’s chair. So, with some trepidation, I surfed over to Dentalfear, ready to bolt at the first photo of a sharp-tipped drill.

Luckily for me, there are no images of menacing dentists or bleeding gums. Instead, the site is littered with happy, toothy people who’ve overcome their fear and loathing of all things dental. It makes the site look slightly like a toothpaste ad, but if you’re the type that needs to come to a site like this, you won’t mind the stock images. After a while, they’re even soothing, like that first hit of nitrous oxide.

The site isn’t jam-packed with information, but what it does provide is quite beneficial. There’s a glossary, a few interviews with experts, and a short press release archive.

The FAQ section is drenched in a cooing tone of comfort, assuring the fearful that they’re most certainly not alone, with an estimate that fully half the population suffer from dental fear. From there, vital questions are answered like: Can I be put to sleep for my dentistry?

The most useful aspect of Dentalfear is its “find a dentist” feature, which allows anxious patients to ferret out gentle practitioners. To be even more effective, the site needs to beef up its content, but since it was only launched in April, plans are underway to do just that. Scaredy cats of the world, take heart.

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