4 Things That Make Going to the Dentist Scary

Whether your heart starts to race, anxiety kicks in, or the stresses of life take over, there are many reasons you might fear making a dental appointment. Let us start off by saying all of these reasons are valid, and it’s ok to feel this way!

The top 4 things we hear patients say make going to the dentist scary are 1) time, 2) money, 3) anxiety and 4) pain. If you fall into one of these categories, skip down to your paragraph below.



Going to the dentist on average happens 2 to 3 times a year. Life, on the other hand, happens 365 days a year. We fall into a consistent routine and only have so much time to fit in extras. It’s not always so easy to switch up your schedule to make it to a dentist appointment.

Getting your appointment scheduled in the calendar is the hardest part. So we’ve made it easy to make an appointment online. If you’re already a TenderCare patient, this only takes a few minutes. Once it’s written in stone, it rarely feels like a time commitment and you might even find it’s a nice break in your regular schedule! If you’re new to the TenderCare family, we have eight convenient locations in the Portland metro area to make your drive to the dentist quick. We work with you and your schedule to ensure that there’s always a time that best fits your needs.



Couple doing bills

Let’s face it – most people think of dentists only as people who fill cavities and scold those who don’t floss enough. But that’s not us. As far as we’re concerned, we’re in the business of actively and positively improving people’s lives. Making you both happier and healthier is our goal.

At TenderCare Dental, our fees are based on the quality of materials we use to care for your smile. We only choose the most necessary care for the health of your smile. Our goal is to maximize your insurance benefits and make any remaining balance easily affordable. To find out if your insurance is accepted at TenderCare Dental, please give the location closest to you a call. You can find the phone number of your location here.

If you can’t cover the cost of your appointment or procedure up front, we offer convenient and flexible payment plans on approved credit. We also offer financing through CareCredit. Learn more by visiting our financial policy page.



Man in dentist chair

Dental anxiety is a real thing. There’s even a word in the dictionary for it! Dentophobia (noun): fear of the dentist. In many cases, people experience anxiety due to a previous traumatic experience at the dentist, whether that be from a painful procedure or a negative personal experience.

We want to transform what “going to the dentist” means – not only with the kind of tenderness our name suggests, but with the kind of personal attention and caring that you simply won’t find anywhere else.

You see, TenderCare Dental isn’t a name that we pulled out of a hat all those years ago. It’s a reflection of who we are as people. As family. Our focus isn’t just on your teeth. It’s on you. And it’s our passion for gentle, high quality dentistry that allows us to bring your smile to life.

There are several ways to treat dental anxiety. The first thing to do is just to have a conversation with us. If we know the root of your anxiety, we can work together to find a solution that fits your needs.



Woman with toothache

You could be afraid of dental pain for two reasons:  1) You’re afraid your dental appointment will hurt – the scraping of the teeth, use of the drill, the invasiveness of dental tools in your mouth. 2) You’re afraid to find out what is currently causing the preexisting pain in your mouth.

If you fall under the first category, we’ve got some great news! Although dental cleaning tools can look intimidating, they’re not much different than your average tooth brush. They are simply little tools shaped in a specific way to give dentists the ability to provide a more direct, deep clean. When cleaning the surface of your teeth, you’ll actually feel no pain. Pain in the body is receptive through nerves, none of which are on the outside of your teeth. Your teeth are protected from pain by a hard outer shell called enamel. If your dentist needs to go beyond the surface of your teeth with a drill to care for a cavity or decay, numbing medication is used so you’ll never feel the pain.

If you fall under the second category of pain, here are some words to consider. Often times people don’t have a reason to go to the dentist until pain becomes a problem; out of sight, out of mind. If you don’t feel pain, you won’t worry about scheduling your bi-annual teeth cleanings. The problem with this method is your mouth and the food you eat are constantly affecting the health of your teeth. Your teeth actually start to have the same type of decay after a few days away from the dental office. If you’re feeling pain, the sooner you come into the dentist, the better! Decay will only become worse over time, leading to more pain and more expensive dental procedures.


Talk With Your TenderCare Dentist

The best thing to do when you’re feeling any of these fears is to talk with your TenderCare Dentist. We understand these fears and have worked with many patients that come across the same challenges. We know the best way to calm anxiety and relieve stress – whether that stress is physical, emotional or financial. We’re problem solvers and only make decisions in the best interest of our patients.