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Push Past Your Phobia and Visit the Dentist

Are you years overdue for a dental checkup, or suffering from severe dental pain because of a phobia of dental visits? Many people are timid about receiving preventive care or restorative dentistry, either because of bad experiences in their past, misinformation about treatment, or often, a general sense of anxiety. But recent studies indicate that cognitive behavioral therapy can help patients move past their fear, in order to receive proper dental care. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to finally give your smile the care it needs, but fear has gotten in your way in the past, consider seeking cognitive behavioral therapy.

How Could CBT Help You?

Unlike some forms of therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is designed to help patients make behavioral changes, through concentrated, action-based therapy that is designed to be short-term. Most therapists advise 10 sessions, or even less.

In fact, in a study conducted by King’s College in London, 79 percent of participants with dental anxiety were able to go on to have dental treatment without sedation, in an average of only five sessions. Another 6 percent were able to get dental care, but with sedation!

While further studies are being conducted on the effectiveness of CBT, it seems clear that it is a great way to address many levels of dental anxiety. It has also been proven effective in many cases of depression and other anxiety-related disorders.

Though sedation has been proven effective helping patients cope with dental anxiety during treatment, the results are temporary, and the sedation does not make it easier to schedule follow-up appointments. CBT, on the other hand, is designed to create long-lasting results, that make a patient far more comfortable seeking restorative dental treatment in the future.