September 5th, 2017

WellOne Primary Medical and Dental Care’s Behavioral Health Department is pleased to announce a new program to help people cope with their fear of the dentist. It has been estimated that anywhere from 25 to 50 million Americans are unable to have important dental problems treated because of anxiety and fear.


“Without timely care, dental emergencies, medical problems and even lost confidence and opportunities can follow,” states Barry Giordano, MEd, MSSW, LICSW. “The health consequences of poor oral health can lead to social problems, medical issues and even life-threatening illnesses. In some cases, gum disease has been linked to the onset of diabetes, stroke and heart disease,” Giordano adds.

A psychotherapist for more than 40 years, Giordano has counseled hundreds of people with all types of anxiety disorders, including dental phobia. Working at a Federally-Qualified community health center, Giordano says, where primary medical, dental and behavioral health services are offered under one roof, provides an ideal environment for identifying patients who may need this service. Oral health services at Community Health Centers are delivered in an integrated manner with other comprehensive services. In other words, providers are able to leverage the resources and expertise available through an established infrastructure.

“The need for an organized program of this kind in Rhode Island and the increased number of people presenting dental phobia symptoms motivated me to develop this program,” Giordano says.

The program is designed primarily for adults and will offer both individual and group therapy depending on the wishes of the patient. It is comprised of several components and coping strategies to gradually desensitize the dental experience.

“Not everyone who suffers from Dental Phobia exhibits the same symptoms nor are the root causes always the same. Some may fear needles, blood, feeling trapped, embarrassed, or pain. Whatever the reason, be it memories of a bad dental experience or feeling out of control while in the chair, dental phobia can be treated and cured,” asserts Giordano.
For further information about this program, call (401) 295-9706, ext. 204.
Founded in 1909, WellOne Primary Medical and Dental Care is a community health center that provides
primary medical, dental and behavioral health services to 15,000 Rhode Islanders at its facilities in Burrillville, Foster, North Scituate and North Kingstown.

Other Recent News

WellOne is Recognized as a National Leader in Clinical Quality Care

WellOne has been recognized as a 2022 Health Center Quality Leader by the U.S. Office of Health and Human Services/Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Bureau of Primary Health Care.… read more

Study Shows Care Provided by NPs and MDs in Community Health Centers Does Not Differ

A recent study conducted by George Washington University about how care provided by a nurse practitioner compares with care provided by a physician at community health centers shows it does… read more