Published on September 8, 2011

CBT helps with severe dental phobia

A recent study published by BDJ based on a session of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) could help those who fear the dentist chair overcome their anxieties. CBT is a type of therapy that aims to help manage problems by changing your outlook and the way you think about situations. The therapy encourages you to think about yourself and the world around you (NHS Choices, 2011).

The study included 60 patients who rely on using sedation before any dental treatment, all presenting a severe case of dental phobia. Only half of the patients were offered CBT treatment, however 21 accepted and of these, 20 of them went on to have dental treatment without sedation. Further to this, a review over the past 10 years highlights that the CBT approach has been successful in the long term as 19 of the patients have not returned to sedation since the CBT.

Authors of the study highlight the conclusions were extremely positive and urged researchers to recommend the CBT method right away, instead of waiting for further investigation, emphasising the money they will save in the future. Whether or not dental practices will adopt the therapy is not disclosed however, the study highlights another step towards maintaining good oral health amongst all patients despite dental fears.

For more information about the study, follow the link or search the following:

 “A joint approach to treating dental phobia: A re-evaluation of a collaboration between community dental services and specialist psychotherapy services ten years on” J. G. Davies, K. I. Wilson & A. L. Clements

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