People with dental phobia tend to avoid visiting the dentist. They are therefore at risk of suffering more dental pain, poor oral health and a detrimental effect to their quality of life.Estimates from a recent Adult Dental Health Survey suggest that around one in 10 people experience extreme anxiety about seeing their dentist.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a short-term therapy that typically lasts 5— 10 sessions. The therapy has been shown to help with a range of psychological issues, such as depression and anxiety disorders and seems to be especially effective within dentistry. CBT interventions have been shown to be successful in reducing dental anxiety and increasing regular dental attendance.
People suffering with dental phobia are most commonly given sedation to allow them to become relaxed enough for a short period of time to have their dental treatment performed. CBT aims to make patients overcome their fears in the long term, rather than just as a temporary measure.
The primary aim of CBT at Crofts Dental Practice is to enable patients to receive dental treatment without the need for sedation, by working with each individual patient to set goals according to their priorities.
How does it work?
CBT is a form of talking therapy that directs patients to identify and evaluate thoughts and feelings. This approach is based on the underlying idea that dysfunctional thoughts, emotions and behaviors are the foundation of many psychiatric issues.
Treatment tends to be short-term, with the therapist training and instructing the patient on how to identify patterns of ‘automatic’ thoughts that cause distressing or unhelpful emotions like dental anxiety.
King’s College London Dental Institute did a survey about the success of dental CBT with99 women and 31 men.The researchers said that of all patients referred for a course of CBT, 79% went on to have dental treatment without the need for sedation and 6% had their dental treatment under sedation.
The survey found that the average number of CBT appointments required before a patient received dental treatment without sedation was just five.
Crofts Dental Practice in Essex could help you conquer your dental fear, so, why not give us a go?