Cognitive behavioral therapy is a short-term six to 10 sessions treatment. It works by providing individuals with skills to address their fears.
Each session is focused on replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. As well as learn a set of skills to help tackle anxiety.
Anxiety about dental visits is normal and will be there as long as we associate this activity with fear. Talk therapy gives us material to confront this insecurity and not avoid it. This through gradual steps to a calmer state of mind.
Anxiety about some aspect of dentistry such as fear of injections and the drill are most common. Talk therapy intends to get patients to go on to have dental treatment without the need for sedation.
Those with dental anxiety are less likely to visit the dentist. As a result of this, they are more likely to have cavities and other oral health problems. Also, women are more likely than men to fear dentists. Many dentists train in handling fearful patients. A variety of methods are available to reduce pain and fear in the dentist’s chair.
During talk therapy, patients learn how to identify their fear. As well as replace bad thoughts with helpful ones. Also, they are taught techniques to cope with anxiety on their own.
Talk therapy techniques such as;
- Controlled breathing
- Muscular relaxation
- Gradual exposure to the object of their fear.
- Using cognitive behavioral therapy instead of relying on sedation
Therapy is much more effective than relying on drugs alone to treat anxiety. Also, some dentists specialize in treating fears in patients. For this, they go out of their way to create a non-threatening environment.
Among the techniques are the distraction, which can include exposing patients to music. Although the training is long lasting, fear can return and some may need more coaching later. The degree of fear may depend on whether the person is primarily afraid of the dentist or other anxiety.
Meanwhile here are a few tips that may help you overcome your fear of the dentist;
- Go to your appointment with someone you trust, such as a close relative who has no fear of dentists. Friends and relatives may even be able to sit with the patient during treatment depending on the rules of the clinic.
- Seek distraction while in the dentist’s chair. Listen to your own music on headphones. Or find a dentist with a TV or other distractions available in the treatment room.
- Try relaxation techniques like controlled breathing. This consists of taking a big breath, holding it, and letting it out slowly. This will slow your heartbeat and relax your muscles. Another technique is progressive muscle relaxation. Which involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in turn.
Ask your dentist if sedatives are available or appropriate for you.
Options could include;
- local anesthetic,
- nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”),
- oral sedatives
- IV sedation
Many dentists are uncomfortable using any oral sedation because it is dangerous. Plus few dentists are qualified to perform IV sedation.
With this information make an appointment with us today. Be sure you’ll receive specialized attention from our professionals to relieve any anxiety about procedures.