The fear or inability to accept routine dental care affects approximately one-third of the adult population in the UK. It has been estimated that as many as 10 per cent are phobic of dentistry and either avoid it altogether or are very distressed if they do attend a dentist. As a result, significant deterioration in dental health is frequently reported.
Clinical Psychologists can provide effective psychological treatment to help anxious patients accept routine dental care more frequently and with less distress. This review summarises the evidence-base to support the use of psychological interventions in dentistry and the availability of this type of service provision.