Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Gen Dent. 2010 May-Jun;58(3):e140-7.

Using alternating bilateral stimulation of eye movement desensitization for treatment of fearful patients.

Author information

  • 1Department of Oral Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, USA.


Since the mid-1990s, eye movement desensitization (EMD) has been used in the realm of clinical psychology and psychiatry as a nonpharmacotherapeutic modality for the treatment of phobias, post-traumatic symptoms, and various psychotrauma cases. EMD can also be incorporated into the use of hypnosis, although the two are not the same thing. This study examined various clinical applications of the eye movement component of EMD (known as alternating bilateral stimulation (ABS)) on fearful dental patients who had a history of traumatic dental experiences. Findings were based on the clinical impressions and assessments of both the patients and the operating team. Results show that ABS, while effective for enabling patients to undergo non-invasive dental procedures such as clinical examinations and simple prophylaxis, has only limited beneficial effect for extremely fearful patients who must undergo invasive procedures such as extraction, drilling, and injections. Nevertheless, ABS is effective for mild to moderate patient phobia and anxiety. Although EMD is more effective than ABS, ABS is simple and easy for patients and clinicians to perform during treatment and can be performed readily in the dental office.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk