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Compend Contin Educ Dent. 2003 Jan;24(1):8, 10.

Helping your patients overcome dental phobia.

Abstract

Dental phobias stem from various sources and can lead to strongly conditioned fear responses. The following are the most common origins of dental fear: Previously painful or negative experiences during visits to a dentist's office. A severe discomfort with feeling vulnerable and/or out of control in a dental situation. A sense of embarrassment from dental neglect and fear of ridicule and/or belittlement. Scary anecdotes of negative dental experiences from family and friends. Negative, menacing portrayals of dentists in movies, television, newspapers, and magazines. A sense of depersonalization in the dental process, intensified by today's necessity for the use of barrier precautions, such as masks, latex gloves, and shields. A general fear of the unknown. Once you recognize the possible sources of your patients' fears, you will be in a much better position to help them identify and overcome their particular brand of dental phobia.

PMID:
12619256
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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