Fear of the dentist can range from anxiety about just needles or the drill, to full-fledged phobia of anything to do with the dentist. A phobia is defined as an extreme anxiety, and in the case of odontophobia, it’s what causes individuals to go great lengths to avoid seeing the dentist, even when they are in pain.
British Research Suggests that Therapy Use Can Reduce Fear of the Dentist
An article published in the British Dental Journal reports a high success rate for patients who underwent cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to address and treat their fear of the dentist. In this study, 79% of the participants went on to have dental work without the use of sedation, and another 6% were able to receive dental work with the use of sedation. The average number of CBT sessions needed was 5.
What Implications Does This Have?
This research would suggest that patients who experience fear of the dentist at any level would find the best level of success when combining some form of therapy along with sedation techniques.
Consider though that many patients who experience odontophobia have already waited too long to receive dental work and may not have the luxury of time to undergo the therapy sessions they need to be able to visit a traditional dentist without the use of sedation. Finding an empathetic dentist who is skilled in sedation techniques is the best option for those who need immediate work done on their teeth.
Do You Have a Fear of the Dentist?
Reem Kidess specializes in sedation dentistry in Scottsdale, AZ and surrounding areas. She understands that each patient has different needs when it comes to sedation, and works with each of her patients on an individual basis to help address the underlying cause behind their fears.
If you’re looking for compassionate care or have questions about sedation dentistry, call the office or fill out the contact form and someone from our office will contact you.