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We know how daunting dental treatment can be. Our Dental Phobia certified experts are here to help ease your mind before treatment by answering your questions.

How would you go about diagnosing the depths of someone’s phobia and how would you start treating it?

Dear Mrs Pinder,
I am doing a project on Denta phobias and what can be done to help patients overcome them.
I have seen that you have expertise in this certain area.
If it isn’t too much trouble i was wondering if you could provide some information for a few questions i have.

If a patient has a particularly bad phobia and won’t attend their appointments even if they needed work doing(filling), what do you do in this situation?
What training is needed to be certified in dental phobia?
Do you treat a lot of patients that have been refered as they have been untreatable elsewhere?
What are the steps you go through to understand a persons phobia and how severe it is?
Are there ways in which you can help patients overcome their fears or is sedation normally the way in which patients are treated?

Thankyou very much 


this is quite a lot to answer , but Ill try .
A suitable book which I highly recommend is Treating Fearful dental Patients , by Milgrom and Weinstein . its american and quite expensive , but you may get it through a dental or medical library .
People contact me through my website , and often I will have an e- chat with them to help them get their fears out in a safe environment . Sometimes I speak with partners , parents first , then have a talk on the phone .
Often this defuses things a bit so that they can actually make an appointment .
I am in Private practice , so I can take a deposit for the first consultation , this is so that they start to make a commitment , and avoids a large failed to attend rate .
Once they have been in , most start treatment , but sometimes dental phobia is just one of many problems . and needs careful assessment with the patient to decide what to do next .
I do a range of sedation options from just a tablet , to IV sedation . But many people can be helped without sedation , or with just a minor sedative .
My main way of treating people is to do an in – depth consultation , with some questionnaires ( on my website . www.dentistfor , you can download them .
I can usually get to treatment by the second appointment , but I have a psychology degree and many years experience with dental phobics .
Yes I treat people who have been untreatable elsewhere . However there are some patients whose phobia is so deep that even with sedation they are very difficult to treat and some have to be referred for a GA .
I find that General injection phobia can be tough to overcome sometimes , although it can be done . Thats where CBT is helpful , and sometimes Hypnotherapy .
I am convinced that there is something called Post Traumatic Dental Stress Disorder where people have had bad experiences that never leave their subconscious , although they can be overcome .
I hope this helps .

Answer provided by: Dr Jennifer Pinder Retired
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