There is hope for people around the world who are terrified of going to the dentist. New research says a course of counselling can help to overcome the fear of sitting in the dentist's chair. The research was conducted by King's College in London. It focused on the effects of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in treating dental phobia. Researchers found that the biggest fears patients had were of pain-relieving injections and the dentist's drill. Doctors believe that between six to ten sessions of CBT can result in stress-free visits to a dental surgery and to cure this phobia.
Researchers say that 10 per cent of people suffer from extreme anxiety about the dentist. This stops many people from getting dental treatment. It also results in more dental problems because people delay going to the dentist until they have a toothache, so the treatment will be more painful. Three per cent of patients surveyed thought about suicide rather than seeing a dentist. Lead researcher, professor Tim Newton, said: "The primary goal of our CBT service is to enable patients to receive dental treatment without the need for sedation."