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A 17-year-old female asked:

how to deal with dental phobia in teens. 17 year old girl who fights and screams at the dental office. cannot afford sedation?

3 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Daniel Quon
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 42 years experience
Talk to your dentist: There are different forms of sedation and anesthetic options in different dental offices, with general anesthesia and IV sedation techniques being more costly. Talk to your dentist to see if oral sedation and/or oral sedation combined with nitrous oxide/oxygen (laughing gas) is an option.
Dr. Paul Grin
Dr. Paul Grin answered
Pain Management 36 years experience
Anxiety management: for patients with moderate or severe levels of dental phobia, psychological and pharmacological interventions are required. Without treatment, dental phobia is likely to get worse over time. See a pain psychologist for CBT.
Dr. Patricia Foster
Psychiatry 44 years experience
If dental phobia is so severe to prevent getting to dentist, psychiatric treatment is indicated. Treatment (therapy/CBT and/or meds) must be individualized and follows a diagnostic eval.
Aug 16, 2015
Dr. Paul Grin
Dr. Paul Grin commented
Pain Management 36 years experience
Provided original answer
Very relevant and good advice. Thank you, Dr. Patricia Foster.
Aug 16, 2015
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Dental phobia: For Phobias consider Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Behavior Therapy, Psychotherapy, Exposure therapy (imaginal exposure therapy, systematic desensitization, flooding, prolonged exposure therapy, in vivo exposure therapy) or hypnosis as possible options. Psychotropic medications are sometimes indicated as well.

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Last updated Apr 30, 2016

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