DENTAL NEWS: Have Scientists Found The Solution To Dental Phobia?

Scientists believe they may have found the solution to dental phobia, a problem, which affects hundreds of people in the UK.

Researchers in Nigeria found that electrotherapy can help to reduce anxiety and fear, paving the way for thousands of patients around the world to undergo dental treatment without feelings of dread and terror.

Researchers found that using cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) lowered anxiety in patients who suffered from a long-term fear of going to the dentist. The method involves transmitting tiny electric impulses to the brain and is similar to TENS treatment sometimes used by pregnant women to control pain.

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The team carried out tests on a group of 40 people, all of whom suffered from dental fear. The group was divided into four separate groups and one group had CES, one had relaxation therapy, one had both therapies and the last group had no form of treatment.

The results of the study showed that CES helped to reduce anxiety, while relaxation therapy was also beneficial. The combination of both treatments had no extra benefit.

Dental phobia is one of the most common phobias and it often affects people to such an extent that they go years without seeing a dentist, even if they are struggling with toothache, decay or bleeding gums. Missing out on regular dental appointments increases the risk of oral diseases, as well as systemic illnesses and this new research could have a major bearing on the future of dental care for phobic patients.