Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Optimism and humour can help to combat dental fear

07.02.2012
Scientists at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have investigated the strategies used by people who suffer from dental fear to cope with dental treatment. Some of the most important factors in managing stress during a visit to the dentist include optimism on the part of the patient and an atmosphere of humour in the interaction with the dental staff.
In an international perspective, about 50% of the adult population suffer from some degree of dental fear, making it one of the most common fears. In its most serious form it can cause extreme stress and lead to people avoiding dental care altogether, thus dental fear turned into dental phobia.

Fiver percent have severe dental fear
Despite this, most people, and this include many of the approximate 5% of the population who suffer from severe dental fear, do go to the dentist regularly. In order to increase understanding of dental fear and its causes, scientists from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg have in two unique studies investigated the strategies people with dental fear use to cope with visiting the dentist, including dental treatment.

Five strategies to overcome
In one study, Jenny Bernson and her colleagues asked people suffering from dental fear to complete a questionnaire, and the researchers could identify five principal strategies used to overcome dental fear:
• Self-efficacy, using one’s own internal resources (for example: “I tell myself to be strong enough to stand it, despite my fear”)
• Self-distraction (for example: “I count to myself, sing to myself or try to play mental games with myself to keep my mind off the treatment”)
• Distancing (for example: “I think that the pain sensation feels like something else such as numbness”)
• Prayer (for example: “I pray that the treatment will soon be over”)
• Optimism (for example: “I try to think of the future, about what everything will be like after the treatment”).
“The study has shown that patients who adopt an optimistic mindset cope with dental treatment significantly better and they visit the dentist more regularly than patients who spend their time in prayer, despair or catastrophizing”, says Jenny Bernson.

Humour most important
The second study was based on interviews with patients suffering from dental fear, and the interviewed patients mentioned humour as one of the most important factors.
“Psychological barriers can be broken down by humour, both as a result of the patient and the dentist coming together more as equals, and as a result of humour reducing stress, increasing well-being and creating a pleasant atmosphere”, says Jenny Bernson.
The strategies that these two studies have identified will form the basis of a questionnaire that may be possible to use in the future when treating patients suffering from dental fear.
The article “Adaptive coping strategies among adults with dental fear. Further development of a new version of the Dental Coping Strategy Questionnaire” has been published in the scientific journal Acta Odontologica Scandinavica. 


The article “Making dental care possible – a mutual affair” has been published in the scientific journal European Journal of Oral Science.

For more information, please contact: Dr Jenny Bernson, LDS, doctoral student at the Department of Behavioural and Community Dentistry, Institute of Odontology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.
Tel: +46 31-786 38 69
E-mail: Jenny.bernson@odontologi.gu.se

Bibliographic data
Title: Adaptive coping strategies among adults with dental fear. Further development of a new version of the Dental Coping Strategy Questionnaire.
Journal: Acta Odontol Scand. 2011 Nov 30
Authors: Bernson JM, Elfström ML, Hakeberg M.

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21896054

Further reports about: Dental Analytics Gothenburg dental care dental treatment

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>