Scared of the dentist?

Here at CK Dental practice in Bristol, we don’t want anyone to be scared of going to the dentist and we make every effort to ensure that our practice is as relaxed and welcoming as possible.

However, there is such a thing as dentalphobia, which is an irrational fear of going to the dentist. Staff here at our Bristol dental clinic are trained in dealing with dentalphobic patients and we have certain tricks up our sleeve which can make a big difference, but what if there were a way to cure your phobia once and for all?

The research

A team of researchers at King’s College London has carried out a study which shows that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) could have a positive effect on people suffering from dentalphobia, allowing them to visit the dentist without the need for sedation.

The study was published in The British Dental Journal and looked at the effect of CBT on 130 patients with dental anxiety. 79% of the patients who had CBT went on to have dental treatment without the need for sedation, after an average of five CBT sessions.

What is CBT?

Cognitive behavioural therapy is a kind of therapy that teaches patients techniques to alter the way they deal with stressful or anxiety-inducing situations. It is a short-term treatment, with most people needing only six to ten sessions, and is most commonly used to treat depression and anxiety.

It has been shown that CBT can not only help to reduce dentalphobia but can also have a positive effect on dental attendance.

So CBT can actually help to improve your dental health?

In a way, yes. Here at CK Dental practice in Bristol, we encourage all patients to visit the practice at least once every six months for a check-up. This allows us to keep a close eye on your oral health and deal with any potential problems early.

For many people, visiting the dentist twice a year doesn’t pose a problem, but for dentalphobic patients, even a routine dental check-up is fraught with anxiety. Together with the efforts we at CK Dental make to put all our patients at ease, CBT could be a valuable tool to encourage these patients to attend the dentist more regularly.