Are you terrified to even call your dentist’s office? Has it been years since you scheduled a dental checkup, because you have moderate to severe dental anxiety? Dental anxiety is actually a common occurrence, one that can have negative effects on your overall oral health. That is because missing dental checkups can result in plaque buildup, dental decay and even gum disease. To avoid problems your teeth and gums need regular preventive care, as well as restorative treatment when an issue arises.
Unfortunately, for years the only commonly prescribed way to address the anxiety was through the use of sedatives, which can be effective during treatment, but don’t make repeat visits any less frightening for patients with a phobia. Sedatives can also pose problems for patients with medical conditions or other concerns.
Fortunately, current research indicates that cognitive behavioral therapy offers a non-invasive solution for dealing with dental anxiety, and one which can provide longer-lasting results than many alternatives. That is because it is a therapy designed to give patients confidence coping with various anxieties, in very little time, often in as little as ten sessions, or less.
What Makes CBT Unique?
Unlike some forms of counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy is meant to be short-term, yet it can provide powerful, long-lasting results. That is because it is designed to prepare people to make behavior modifications, such as overcoming their fear and attending a dental appointment.
In fact, a recent study by King’s College in London indicated that of the partipcants who suffered from dental anxiety, and went through an average of five CBT sessions, almost 80 percent of them were able to go on and receive dental treatment without the use of sedation. Another 6 percent were able to get the treatment they needed using sedation dentistry.
This means that if you have put off vital dental care, for fear of scheduling a visit, CBT could potentially help you. Call your insurance company to find out if the treatment is covered under your plan, and ask for licensed therapists specializing in CBT in your area.