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News / July 18, 2017

Dental phobia conference tackles anxiety, welcomes new president

by Guy Hiscott

Outgoing president Caoimhin Macgiolla Phadraig hands the reigns over to new president Pádraig Ó Cuinn

Dental phobia came to the forefront last month at the Irish Society for Disability and Oral Health’s (ISDH) annual conference in Dublin.

Almost 100 dental professionals attended the one-day interactive workshop. The day was led by Professor Tim Newton, a consultant psychologist from King’s College London.

According to the ISDH, the aim of the conference was to provide practical tips in the management of dental phobia, using the principles of CBT. CBT has been shown to be more effective in the long-term treatment and reduction of dental anxiety when compared to conscious sedation; to date, it has not been used extensively for dental phobia in Ireland.

‘The take home message from the day was that assessment of dental anxiety should be part of every patient’s dental treatment,’ says outgoing president Dr Caoimhin Macgiolla Phadraig. ‘This can be done quickly and effectively using a validated scale such as the Modified Dental Anxiety Scale.’

‘There is evidence to suggest that just by asking about dental anxiety helps to reduce it.’

The annual bursary awards were also presented with the newly qualified dentist prize going to Dr Christopher Hogg for his dissertation on the non-pharmacological management of dental anxiety.

Dorothy Halpin RDH won the annual special care bursary award for her presentation on including special care patients in general dental practice.