How can Building Confidence for Dental Appointments! help you overcome the fear?

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This compact disc is designed for the 7th grader through adult who needs to see a dentist, but is afraid. In the United States dentists estimate that 50% of people avoid regular dental care, many people have dental insurance.

People often avoid dentists because of anxious thoughts "in the backs of their minds."  Sometimes modeling a parent who feared dentists or a bad experience with a dentist keeps people away.

Early in the 20th century, the Russian psychologists, Pavlov, found he could change a dog's behavior by conditioning.  American psychologists later found humans could condition away their own fears by combining muscle relaxation and visualization.

This CD packages these skills to use at home.  The first two audio tracks explain how the program works, describe the muscle tensing and relaxing exercises and describe the mental visualization exercises.  Tracks 3-12 each provide one step from someone commenting your teeth to anxiety-producing situations to and through the dental appointment.  It is important to relax and repeat tracks 3-12 five to ten times and visualize each specific step calmly before moving on to the next track or step in the program.

I believe that combining deep relaxation with repeated visualization reroutes thoughts about dental appointments from the "emotional part" of the central brain to the "thought-and-plan-processing parts" of the frontal lobes of the brain.  Then people can visit their dentist willingly and more comfortably.

A pretest of how you feel about dental appointments follow the comment below.

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Comment on Building Confidence for Dental Appointments! from a dentist: "Thank you for the opportunity to listen to your CD.  I found the relaxation techniques interesting and have personally used a similar sequence in the past.  The narration was excellent.  I will keep your program in mind and, if presented with a patient who may benefit, I will let them know about your desensitization techniques and your website."

Please select how you feel, or would feel, at each time.

1. Someone comments on my teeth.

1 - Always Calm
2 - Usually Calm
3 - OK
4 - Usually Nervous
5 - Always Nervous

2. I call for a dental appointment.

1 - Always Calm
2 - Usually Calm
3 - OK
4 - Usually Nervous
5 - Always Nervous

3. I am getting my teeth cleaned.

1 - Always Calm
2 - Usually Calm
3 - OK
4 - Usually Nervous
5 - Always Nervous

4. I get a shot of Novocain.

1 - Always Calm
2 - Usually Calm
3 - OK
4 - Usually Nervous
5 - Always Nervous

5. The dentist drills into my tooth.

1 - Always Calm
2 - Usually Calm
3 - OK
4 - Usually Nervous
5 - Always Nervous

6. I have a tooth pulled.

1 - Always Calm
2 - Usually Calm
3 - OK
4 - Usually Nervous
5 - Always Nervous

7. I choke or gag.

1 - Always Calm
2 - Usually Calm
3 - OK
4 - Usually Nervous
5 - Always Nervous

8. I lose control of myself.

1 - Always Calm
2 - Usually Calm
3 - OK
4 - Usually Nervous
5 - Always Nervous

9. After the appointment, I have some swelling.

1 - Always Calm
2 - Usually Calm
3 - OK
4 - Usually Nervous
5 - Always Nervous

10. The dentist won't listen to my concerns.

1 - Always Calm
2 - Usually Calm
3 - OK
4 - Usually Nervous
5 - Always Nervous

Total Score from 50 Possible Points *

* If your total score is 30 or above or if you scored "4" or "5" on two or more individual items, this program may help you.