In honor of World Mental Health Day, we’re talking about fear of the dentist and dental phobia. Although they’re not usually associated with the conventional idea of mental health, feelings of fear and anxiety fall into the general mental health category. Anything that causes you to feel afraid, anxious, or uneasy is directly related to your state of mental health.
For approximately 20 percent of Americans, the thought of going to the dentist causes the above feelings.
This number is extremely high, which alludes to the fact that 20 percent of Americans are not getting the dental care they need to maintain healthy smiles and, as a result, healthy bodies.
If you’re a part of this 20 percent of the population, you have several options when it comes to overcoming your fear of the dentist. Sedation dentistry is quickly becoming a popular service that most dentists offer to their patients to ensure their comfort throughout treatment. With many forms of sedation to choose from, Dr. James Fondriest, a dentist in Lake Forest, Illinois, can help you determine which type is right for you. Call his dental office at (847) 234-0517 to reserve an appointment.
If, however, you are looking for a more permanent solution to your dental phobia, the British Dental Journal (BDJ) encourages you to consider cognitive behavioral therapy. A study, recently published in the journal, was done on 60 patients who relied on intravenous sedation before undergoing dental treatment. During the study, these 60 patients attended a specialist dental clinic for people with severe dental phobia. Half of the group was offered cognitive behavioral therapy, with 21 patients ultimately accepting the treatment. Following the study, twenty of these patients went on to have dental treatment without the need of sedation. Ten years later, results show that 19 of these patients had not returned to sedation for dental work in the intervening ten-year period.
Pretty amazing, right? If you suffer from dental phobia, does this change your view of what you can do to help yourself? If so, call us to reserve a consultation appointment with Dr. Fondriest. He can make suggestions about how to overcome your anxiety and, together, you and Dr. Fondriest can design a solution that works for you.