A recent piece of research published by the British Dental Journal has offered up the results in a study of 130 people who feared dental treatment and come to some interesting findings.
For anyone with a dental phobia, the act of going to the dentist can be hard enough but when the majority of those with fear don’t go to the dentist at all, things can get very tricky.
However, this new research suggests that a potential solution to help with treatment is to undergo Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, because it can mean patients are relaxed enough to have treatment with no need for sedation at all.
In the study carried out by Kings College, all of the participants had talking therapy, which resulted in being able to have treatment without sedation for more than three quarters of them. A good sign if ever there was one.
For dentists generally, the idea of a patient being sedated actually doesn’t help those with dental phobias combat the problem. It only deals with the effects of it and it’s a vicious cycle that continues forever until it’s dealt with.
The research looked at 99 women and 31 men who attended a therapy clinic at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and within this group, three quarters had some kind of dental phobia. The remainder had a very specified fear of an aspect of dentistry, such as the drill.
Of all the patients, four-fifths (79%) went on to have dental treatment without the need for sedation, while 6% had their dental treatment under sedation.
The average number of therapy appointments required before a patient received dental treatment without sedation was just five.
Many dentists don’t like the idea of a patient being sedated during treatment as it means they cannot communicate with patients as they’d like. Therefore, these new findings could be a good way to combat dental phobias, while allowing dentists to really work with their patients.
For many people with dental phobias, it’s often something that starts during childhood and with no work to cure the issue, it then continues into adulthood.
So what’s the key to overcoming a dental phobia?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy essentially makes you talk about things and during this process you may well be able to understand why you are scared and how to combat it.
It’s a more organic way to deal with a phobia but it’s also a very successful solution to a lot of people (not just those with dental phobias).
If you need a dentist but have a phobia or fear yourself, Advanced Dentistry can help. We offer a relaxed and friendly environment and will work with you if you are nervous to put your mind at ease.