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Dental Phobia - by Dr. J. O. Olaoye


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Causes of Dentophobia. There are many terms used to classify the idea of a dental phobia. It can be known as dental fear, dental anxiety, dentist phobia, odontophobia, or dentophobia. They all mean the same thing: an intense fear of visiting the dentist for dental care.

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Dental Phobia - by Dr. J. O. Olaoye

  2. 2. 2 INTRODUCTION • Dental phobia is a common condition worldwide. • Individuals with high dental anxiety exhibit indicators of poor oral health behaviour in form of; - suboptimal oral self-care - irregular dental attendance - dental procedure postponement and - total dental treatment avoidance.
  3. 3. 3 INTRODUCTION CONT • It affects oral health-related quality of life. •The fear of visiting the dentist outweighs the pain of a toothache for some patients. • Procrastination leads to more advanced oral health problems and lengthier, more complex procedures.
  4. 4. 4 INTRODUCTION CONT • Most adults who suffer from dental anxiety can trace their fears back to unpleasant childhood experience. • Improvements in techniques, medications and equipment mean that even the most skittish patients can be assured of comfort.
  5. 5. 5 AIM •The aim of this presentation is to discuss dental phobia with staff of this facility.
  6. 6. 6 SCOPE a. Basic terminologies b. Etiology of dental phobia c. Causes of dental phobia d. Signs of dental phobia e. Coping with dental anxiety f. Intervening the fearful patient g. Delivery of care to the fearful patient
  7. 7. 7 BASIC TERMINOLOGIES • Anxiety is both a physical and emotional response to an anticipated experience that the individual perceives as threatening in some way. • Fear is an emotional response to a genuine threat or danger.
  8. 8. 8 BASIC TERMINOLOGIES CONT • Phobia is a persistent irrational fear of a specific object, activity or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it. • Dental phobia is an unpleasant mental, emotional, or physiological sensation derived from a specific dental related stimulus.
  9. 9. 9 ETIOLOGY OF DENTAL PHOBIA • It is complex and multifactorial. • It may appear at any age. • No difference among socioeconomic groups or racial/ethnic groups. • Females are more fearful than males. • Bad experience/post traumatic stress. • Vicarious learning. • Uncaring dentist.
  10. 10. 10 Source: BMC Oral HealthVicious cycle of dental phobia
  11. 11. 11 CAUSES OF DENTAL PHOBIA • Fear of pain • Fear of injections/ fear of injections will not work • Fear of anaesthesia side effects • Clinical smell of dental practice • Fear of dental instrument
  12. 12. 12 CAUSES OF DENTAL PHOBIA CONT Source: Dental surgery 2DMSH album Fear of injection
  13. 13. 13 CAUSES OF DENTAL PHOBIA CONT Source: Dental surgery 2DMSH album Dental instrument
  14. 14. 14 CAUSES OF DENTAL PHOBIA CONT • Embarrassment and loss of personal space which many patients are not comfortable with the physical closeness of dentist/hygienist. • Fear of unknown. • Feeling of helplessness and loss of control.
  15. 15. 15 SIGNS OF DENTAL PHOBIA • Classical avoidance behaviour. • Trouble sleeping the night before the dental examination. • Feelings of nervousness that escalate while in the dental clinic waiting room. • Crying or physically ill at the thought of visiting the dentist. • Intense uneasiness at the thought of or actually when objects are placed in your mouth during the dental examination.
  16. 16. 16 COPING WITH DENTAL ANXIETY • Discuss your fears with the dentist. • Be open and honest with your dentist. • Ask your dentist to explain what is happening at every stage of the procedure. • Establish a signal by raising your hands when you want your dentist to stop. • Find another dentist if he does not take fear seriously.
  17. 17. 17 INTERVENING THE FEARFUL PATIENT • Corah Dental Anxiety Scale. • Kleinknecht’s Dental Fear Survey. • Iowa Dental Control Index.
  18. 18. 18 CARE DELIVERY TO THE FEARFUL PATIENT • Distract patient-music selection. • Rest breaks. • Relaxation-deep breath. • Systemic desensitisation- video based exposure/Computer –Assisted Relaxation Learning. • Guided imagery- mind/body exercise. • Tell-Show-Do (TDS).
  19. 19. 19 CARE DELIVERY TO THE FEARFUL PATIENT CONT • Reinforcement- reward desired behaviour. • Modelling. • Hand-over mouth. • Sedation. • Electronic dental anaesthesia.
  20. 20. 20 CONCLUSION • Patients with dental phobia are much more likely to delay or avoid dental appointment. • Dental phobic patients may prove difficult to treat, require more time and present with behavioural problems which may be stressful and unpleasant for both the patient and the dentist.
  21. 21. 21 CONCLUSION CONT • Dental anxiety and phobia can have adverse impacts on a patient’s quality of life. • It is imperative to identify and alleviate these significant obstacles to pave the way for better oral health and overall well- being of the individual. • Extremely anxious or phobic patients most frequently require combined management approaches
  22. 22. 22 CONCLUSION CONT • Patients who delay dental appointment for a prolonged time, even if experiencing a prolonged pain, might have extensive problems that requires more complex and complicated treatment. • If patients are not managed appropriately it is quite possible to establish a vicious cycle of dental fear.
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  24. 24. 24 REFERENCES • Andlaw, Rock. A Manual of Paediatric Dentistry. New York: Churchill livingstone,2006, P.17-27. • Armfield JM and Heaton LJ; ‘Management of fear and anxiety in the dental clinic: a review’ Australian Dental Journal, Vol.58, No.4, 2013, P.390-407.
  25. 25. 25 REFERENCES CONT • Folayan MO, Adekoya CA, Otuyemi OD, Ufomata D; ‘Parental anxiety as a possible predisposing factor to child dental anxiety in parents seen in suburban dental hospital in Nigeria’ International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, Vol.8,No.3,2012, P.52-53. • Obarisiagbon A, Clement C. Azodo, Omoaregba JO, James BO; ‘Clinical anxiety among final year dental students: The trainers and students perspectives’ Sahel Medical Journal, Vol.16,No.2,2013, P.64-70. 5 Apr 18
  26. 26. 26 REFERENCES CONT • Management of dental anxiety. https;// /v7/n4/full/vital 1239.html. Accessed 21 Mar 18.