A visit to the dentist is rarely a cause for celebration, but for many, it’s a cause of serious anxiety. Those who suffer from a dental phobia may find just the mention of dental care cause for concern. In others with this condition, it can be downright paralyzing. This leads to patients of all ages with dental phobia struggling with getting proper dental care. Research continues to find new ways to help these individuals cope with their fears and work towards getting the care they need. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is a popular option for tackling dental anxiety. It has been showing promising results in many patients.
How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Helps Dental Phobia
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, is a treatment modality used by mental health professionals to address various concerns. Phobias, depression, eating disorders, and phobias like dental anxiety are responsive to it. Trained therapists work with patients using specific behavioral techniques to manage their anxiety and stress. Studies found the following results using these studies:
- Reduced Symptoms Of Dental Anxiety – Those who have received CBT for dental anxiety have reported reduced symptoms after just a few months.
- Boosted Quality of Life – Reduced anxiety symptoms boosted the quality of life. The processes used in CBT can benefit the patient with other mental health concerns.
- Better Experiences in Practice – Those who have seen a reduction in their symptoms of dental anxiety have reported better experiences during dental care. This results in these patients experiencing fewer oral health concerns and better dental appearance.
Patients experiencing CBT have reported that the benefits of this treatment extend beyond their dental care. Integrated medical care allows them to take advantage of a broader range of treatment. The treatment they receive is more fluid and responsive and provides access to more resources that may otherwise be inaccessible.
Failure to treat dental anxiety can have a lasting impact on oral health. Those with dental anxiety generally don’t get access to the care they need on a consistent schedule. Patients with mild cases still avoid regular dental visits. They often will only go when they’re experiencing discomfort from oral hygiene concerns. Those with severe cases may avoid seeking care even in these instances. This can lead to serious concerns with advanced gum disease and even life-threatening conditions. Unaddressed abscesses may pass infection into the bloodstream, leading to sepsis. These are the reasons why using CBT to treat dental anxiety is an important approach.
Ask Your Dentist About Using CBT For Dental Anxiety
Dentists are always willing to work with patients for coordinated care. Helping their patients get their dental care is a core part of their practice. They can also help get you connected with mental health professionals that are comfortable working with dental anxiety. Many clinics also help patients with concerns like dental anxiety by taking steps to make their environment more inviting. Reach out to your dentist to see how they can help you today.