Health and Lifestyle for the over 50s

Dental Phobia Patients May Benefit from CBT

Posted by The Best of Health
Categories: Health and Wellbeing /

Dental Phobia

According to new research, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) could help people overcome dental phobia enough to undergo treatment without sedation. The study was carried out at King’s College London and published in the British Dental Journal.

Dental Phobia – the use of CBT

Researchers looked at 130 people who feared dental treatment. These individuals feared treatment so much that they could only receive it under sedation or, in many cases, avoided going to see their dentist altogether.

The participants attended a therapy clinic at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, and after several sessions of CBT, 79% of them went on to have dental treatment without the need for sedation. 6% went on to have their dental treatment under sedation.

“The primary goal of our CBT service 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,” says study author Professor Tim Newton. “Our study shows that after an average of five CBT sessions, most people can go on to be treated by the dentist without the need to be sedated.”

Cognitive behavioural therapy is a talking therapy which aims to help people change negative thinking and behaviour patterns. It helps patients break down overwhelming problems into smaller parts and deal with them in a more positive way.

Professor Newton says that while sedation helps many anxious dental patients get through treatment, it does not help them overcome their fear. CBT can be a more helpful long-term solution to the problem.

However, other experts argue that a good dentist can do a lot to make scared patients feel more at ease. Dentist Ben Atkins says that in his 23-year career he has only ever referred two patients to have treatment under sedation.

“Personally I take it as a failure if I have to do that, because good dentistry should be all about communication with your patients and you should be able to talk any fears through,” he says. “It’s about putting the patient in control. These days, dentistry should be 100% pain free.”

Related Posts

  • dental problems

    Dental care is vitally important throughout our lives but can present us with different issues when we hit the 50plus age group. Studies have previously linked poor dental hygiene with health problems such as heart…

  • Bad Dental Habits To Break

    Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing and making regular trips to see your dentist are important habits to maintain if you want to keep your teeth healthy. However, bad dental habits can significantly reduce…

Posted by The Best of Health

We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By agreeing you accept the use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.

Privacy Settings saved!
Privacy Settings

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our site.

In order to use this website we use the following technically required cookies
  • wordpress_test_cookie

We use Google Tag Manager to monitor our traffic and to help us AB test new features.

Decline all Services
Accept all Services