Dental anxiety is an issue that researchers are quite preoccupied with in the latest period. In a study which has been published recently in “Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics” scientists have tried to come up with different alternatives to treat dental anxiety.
According to the findings, cognitive behavioral therapy (known as CBT) is a much better method than hypnosis, among the alternatives to general anesthesia.
A practice based study has been conducted by researchers from the department of clinical psychology at Wuppertal University (Germany) and the St. Augusta Hospital Dental Clinic.
The researchers ran the studies in order to measure up the acceptability and effectiveness of hypnosis, cognitive behavioral therapy, and hypnosis with individualized imagery in treating patients suffering from dental phobia.
Scientists set up a four-group pattern with four concomitant measurement occasions. There have been a number of 137 patients involved initially, out of which 77 have completed the study with sample sizes from 19 to 29 patients in all four groups.
Those involved in the study had to complete questionnaires regarding dental anxiety right at the beginning of the testing. Also, participants had to complete questionnaires both before and after the first dental appointment, and one more time a week later before the second dental appointment.
Cognitive behavioral therapy has proved to be a more favored solution than standardized hypnosis. Patients who have undergone the standardized hypnosis therapy have terminated their treatment prematurely. The analysis also showed that CBT and individualized hypnosis have helped in the reduction of dental anxiety much more effectively than general anesthesia.
The researchers have concluded that if measuring effectiveness and acceptability, cognitive behavioral therapy is the best choice in order to treat successfully dental phobia.
CBT is a therapeutic approach that helps solving emotional problems and disorders by implementing a systematic approach during treatment. This treatment option is quite successfully used in problems such as mood disorders, anxiety, psychotic disorders, substance abuse and even eating disorders.
CBT is basically a combination of cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy, which as it has been concluded by the researchers, works extremely well in treating patients who suffer from dental phobia (anxiety).