Desensitisation therapy

This is a type of therapy which is based upon encouraging a person with a phobia such as dental phobia to confront the source of their fear and anxiety.

The aim is for them to become accustomed to facing this potential threat which starts to recede as time goes on, which then lessens the threat and reduces their anxiety.

A good example of this is someone with a phobia about spiders. He or she is encouraged to face this fear even going as far as placing the spider on the palm of their hand which reduces that fear.

This is repeated and each time the level of fear starts to drop as the person becomes familiar and less scared. This in effect, desensitises them to the source of their fear.

The same concept is applied to dental phobics. They are taught to face the source of their phobia which in this case is a fear of the dentist. The goal is for them to gradually become accustomed to this trigger (i.e. the dentist) which becomes less threatening over time.

The sufferer is able to view this as something benign and non-threatening. They feel confident in their ability to handle their emotions and the situation at the time.

This means being able to visit the dentist and undergo a range of procedures without any fears whatsoever. 

In other words, they have become desensitised to the fear of the dentist. 

Latest news

Helping to support
the charity Smile Train
in conjunction with
There is No Perfect Dentist