How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Helps With Dental Anxiety

How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Helps With Dental Anxiety

Having dental anxiety is common. However, some people have anxiety or fears so bad that they are unable to bring themselves to visit a dentist. This is bad for your dental health and for your overall health. Fortunately, there are treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, that can help you. Here’s what you need to know.

What Are the Signs You Have Dental Anxiety?

What Are the Signs You Have Dental Anxiety? Dental anxiety can present in people in a variety of ways. Most people have a very mild form of anxiety. This may cause them to feel anxious, nervous, get sweaty palms, have a racing heart, or feel short of breath. Other people may have a more severe form of dental anxiety. They may have panic attacks when they think about going to the dentist, or they may have panic attacks when they arrive for an appointment. Another sign of dental anxiety is being so fearful of going to the dentist that you don’t book an appointment, cancel appointments and/or refuse visit a dentist out of fear.

When Does Dental Anxiety Become a Concern?

Dental anxiety becomes a concern when it causes you to skip or neglect dental care you need. Routine care allows a dentist to check for cavities and gum diseases. It’s when your teeth are cleaned and checked for potential problems, like cavities. If you don’t go to these preventative appointments, you may experience severe problems like dental pain, unfilled cavities, and red, swollen, or bleeding gums. All of these issues are avoidable with routine care — as long as you make and keep your dentist appointment.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a type of talk therapy. You sit down with a therapist and talk about your thoughts and feelings in regards to whatever is on your mind, including your dental anxiety. A therapist will try to help you understand what causes your fears or why you are anxious. They may also work with you to find out exactly what triggers your thoughts and how you can redirect those thoughts when they pop up. In other words, they try to replace the negative thoughts with positive ones, in order to alleviate your dental anxiety.

Does a Dentist Have to Refer You to Therapy?

No, a dentist does not have to refer you to cognitive behavioral therapy. Though, if you suffer from anxiety, a dentist may recommend various types of treatments, including cognitive behavioral therapy. If you suffer from a high level of dental anxiety, or you have a child who does, you can make an appointment for treatment with a cognitive behavioral therapist on your own.

What Can You Do to Help Your Dental Anxiety Prior to Therapy?

What Can You Do to Help Your Dental Anxiety Prior to Therapy? If you have dental anxiety now, you likely want something to help you while you’re in therapy. Dental sedation is one of the best options for those suffering from a dental phobia. Different types of sedation are available, ranging from laughing gas, which can help to calm your nerves and take the edge off, to IV sedation which can put you completely under during your dental procedure. Talk to a dentist who offers sedation dentistry in Mesa to find out what type of sedation is for you.


Visiting a dentist if when you have a dental anxiety or phobia is never easy. Simply making an appointment can be nerve-wracking and scary. Here at Dental Brothers, we offer sedation dentistry options to help you have a better patient experience. We also answer any questions you have and take things slowly so you understand what is being done. Seeing a dentist is a must, even for those who have dental phobias. Let us at Dental Brothers help you with your dental needs. Schedule an appointment today.