In a perfect world people would love to come to the dentist, but unfortunately dentists get a bit of a bad rap. Dental anxiety is surprisingly common. It is estimated that as many as one in five adults are so afraid of the dentist that they completely avoid scheduling an appointment which can only lead to more problems in the long term. Regularly going to the dentist can help you avoid a lot of the more extensive and invasive dental procedures such as root canals. Recently a study has given us another method to help get people to the dentist: cognitive therapy.
How Does That Make You Feel?
For the study, psychologists examined 31 men and 99 women who had a phobia of things commonly associated with the dentist such as injections and drills. After an average of five sessions, 79% of the patients were able to go to the dentist without the need of sedation dentistry.
This is great for a long term solution as the therapy helps these individuals get over their fear of the dentist and can help bring about positive change in their life, but there is one problem. For individuals that have immediate dental needs, such as an infection, the therapy make actually take too long to run its course. It is still recommended that the cognitive therapy be coupled with sedation dentistry for situations that may need more immediate attention.
Triggers and Stressors
While therapy can help those with extreme cases of dental anxiety, there are things that you can do at home to help eliminate stressors such as mediation, guided breathing, and listening to music. These practices, coupled with sedation can help make your trip to the dentist a relaxing and positive experience. You should not be afraid to maintain your dental health!