Fear of the dentist has had many an individual suffering in silences with tooth ache or poor dental hygiene but what is it that dentists themselves recommend as a treatment for this phobia?
Dr Jennifer Pinder, a dentist working in London, has been treating patients who have a phobia of getting into the dentists chair for over 30 years. Over the years she has seen individuals with anything from a fear of the drill, right through to a fear or gagging.
Dr Pinder stresses that the first and most vital step is to find out exactly what someones phobia is, before dealing with it in a sympathetic and sensitive manner.
Unfortunately it is not uncommon for phobics to suffer for long periods of time, often to the point where their teeth are disintegrating, until they finally realise that a visit to the dentist is unavoidable, says Pinder.
However, what dentists such as Pinder and many others are trying to do is reassure patients and potential patients that if they do have a phobia their problem will be dealt with in a sympathetic manner.
Pinder helps her patients overcome any embarrassment by making time for them to discuss their fears and she also encourages them to email her their thoughts and feelings before the appointment.
After this the next step is managing a patients anxiety and offering a range of pain free treatments.
Dr Pinder uses a new implement which is known as The Wand, which covers the needle and controls the speech at which the anaesthetic is given to the patient. She also encourages her patients to bring along a personal music player so they can listen to their favourite tunes, helping to distract them from whats happening.
Lastly Pinder also offers hypnotherapy and counselling, both of which will help to eliminate the underlying cause of the phobia over time.
View out fact-sheet on hypnotherapy for phobias.