The Dental Fear Ladder

A Simple Tool to Help with Dental Fear……

A really useful thing to do as part of your journey to beat your dental fear is to create a “fear ladder”

It can help to do this with post it notes  or better still on your tablet/phone/pc to save a few trees

Pick whatever part of your journey you are on.  So if say for example,  you have manged to make contact with a dentist and have booked an appointment but now just don’t know if you can go through with it…….

Write a list !   now as a scientifically trained person I will admit I do love a good list, but humour me because this does work for most people

Imagine that first  visit that you have booked

  • create a list of the things that happen at a first dental appointment ,
  • if you need some help take a peek at this you tube video of a younger version of me talking about what is involved ( at our practice at least )
  • then try to arrange them into  new order that for you represents  least scary  thing tat could happen to most scary thing that could happen
  • this is your personal fear ladder

Dont agonise over it too much because  as someone pointed out to me, depending on the day some items may rank higher or lower. But anything you can get down will be a help.

Now please please share that list with whoever is going to see you at your first visit. We always try and take things super easy  and very slowly at a first visit but a recent conversation I had with someone reminded me that everyone is different and ultimately we don’t know for sure what you are going to find challenging in advance. We are fast learners but anything you an tell  us in advance is a help.

Whats more an e-mail dialogue with the person you are going to see in advance mans that your are not “starting from scratch” and actually have a little bit of  a relationship built up already.

If I can help you to beat your dental fear in any way then please don’t hesitate to contact me direct through the contact page of the website.



Dr. Fraser Hendrie BDS (Glasg.) MFGDP (UK)

Fraser is a Glasgow graduate with over 20 years of experience. He is the one of the principal dentists at Craigentinny Dental Care in Edinburgh. He has a reputation for consistent, high quality work and a love of innovation. Many of Dr Hendrie’s patients travel from the far reaches of Scotland, the UK and beyond. So wherever you live from Portobello or around Edinburgh to further afield he will be pleased to meet you. He is a member of the Student Clinicians of the American Dental Association, British Dental Association, the Association of Dental Implantology, and has studied at the Pankey Institute in Miami on several occasions. Fraser has particular interests in Dental Implantology, Preventive dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry and information technology. Fraser has also been admitted to the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners by examination. Fraser is married with two young children and lives in Edinburgh. In his free time he enjoys running, cycling, and kite-surfing.