CBT for Anxious Patients
Dental phobia can be terrifying. You may avoid going to the dentist, even if you have toothache. If your teeth are ‘in a state’ you may be embarrassed by bad breath or the appearance of your teeth. Have you stopped smiling? Do you hide your mouth with your hand while you’re talking? In the end you may have avoided going to the dentist for so long that you are afraid to go because you cannot face being told how much treatment you need.
You are not alone! Up to 50% of the adult population report some level of dental fear.
Dental phobia is treatable. Just as with phobias of spiders and heights, dental phobia can be treated with cognitive behaviour therapy or CBT. This treatment has been scientifically evaluated and has been found to be very effective in treating phobias. CBT is recommended as the most effective treatment for anxiety disorders by NICE, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence.
At Smile Cliniq we can now offer treatment for dental phobia using CBT. The CBT is provided by Helen Chapman who is a qualified dentist. She has also studied CBT and holds a Postgraduate Certificate from the University of Derby.
Helen can offer the CBT and any dental treatment necessary can be undertaken by the other dentists (Dr Chetan Kaher and Dr Sarita Kotecha) working closely with Helen.
Because Helen has studied CBT, she also has an understanding of other problems such as agoraphobia, OCD and depression which can also make it difficult to go to the dentist.
What to expect
CBT always works with a detailed understanding of your individual problem; everyone is different. Helen will spend up to an hour assessing your phobia and helping you understand what is ‘driving’ it. This includes your thoughts and beliefs about going to the dentist as well as your behaviours – the things you do to help you cope with your fear eg gripping the arms of the dental chair. You will get a lot of questionnaires to complete. These help Helen to understand your problem and to monitor your progress.
Once we have a detailed understanding of your problems, we can start to introduce dental treatment. This begins with simple ‘experiments’ such as sitting in the dental chair for the first time. Treatment is gradually introduced at a rate you can cope with. This can be done in many small visits or in longer sessions; you can decide after discussion with Helen.
Smile Cliniq is an ideal place to come if you are phobic but care about your oral health.
Individual treatment with Helen is based on time cost - Actual dental treatment is on a fee per item of treatment basis. You will get a written and costed treatment plan.