Tags: dentist | fear | hypnosis

Easy Way to Conquer Fear of the Dentist

By    |   Thursday, 13 November 2014 07:59 AM

It’s estimated that 5 percent of Americans never go to the dentist.
 
They stay away not because they can’t afford it and not because they don’t consider their teeth important – it’s because they are terrified.
 
Dental phobia is surprisingly common.
 
Now, dentists are finding that one treatment is surprisingly effective against dental anxiety.
 
"Hypnosis works for most patients," says dentist Dr. Sheila Dobee of Fremont, Calif.
 
"If you come in and say, 'Look, I'm really frightened of the dentist, and I want to try something,' and are open to hypnosis, it works very well,” she tells Newsmax Health.
 
Hypnosis not only helps reduce fear, but because it lowers blood pressure it can lessen bleeding, speeding recovery time, says Dr. Dobee, who is trained in a form of light hypnosis that is increasingly being practiced by dentists and hygienists.
 
 
Dr. Dobee sympathizes with her patients and understands the power of phobias because she suffers from a fear of flying.
 
"I wasn't afraid of crashing. I was claustrophobic," she said. "I studied phobias intensely, and then I understood why people were so petrified of dentistry. Like my fear of flying, fear of the dentist is irrational, but that doesn't make it any less terrifying."
 
Like Dr. Dobee, more dentists are getting hypnosis training, and they sometimes can practice it so effectively that they can use it in place of novocaine shots for pain relief.
 
The root of most dental phobias, she says, is fear of the unknown. Not understanding what will happen in the dentist's chair leads to imagining what might happen – and our fears are usually exaggerated.
 
"The human brain makes thing seem so much worse," she says.
 
For patients who are terrified of visiting the dentist, the first step is to schedule a visit where no procedures, even examinations, are planned.
 
At this preliminary visit, Dr. Dobee explains precisely what's going to happen at an actual appointment, how much pain might be involved, and what she will do to make sure there isn't any pain.
 
Then, when the patients arrive for their scheduled appointment, Dr. Dobee uses light hypnosis to help them manage their anxiety.
 
Often, this single treatment is enough to cure the problem.
 
Although dental hypnosis is becoming more common, it's not covered by insurance, and it's not available in all areas. "Call around," says Dr. Dobee.

 

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It's estimated that 5 percent of Americans never go to the dentist. They stay away not because they can't afford it and not because they don't consider their teeth important - it's because they are terrified. Dental phobia is surprisingly common. Now, dentists are...
dentist, fear, hypnosis
391
2014-59-13
Thursday, 13 November 2014 07:59 AM
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