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

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: The spin state story: Observation of the quantum spin liquid state in novel material

New insight into the spin behavior in an exotic state of matter puts us closer to next-generation spintronic devices

Aside from the deep understanding of the natural world that quantum physics theory offers, scientists worldwide are working tirelessly to bring forth a...

Im Focus: Excitation of robust materials

Kiel physics team observed extremely fast electronic changes in real time in a special material class

In physics, they are currently the subject of intensive research; in electronics, they could enable completely new functions. So-called topological materials...

Im Focus: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

Im Focus: The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...

Im Focus: Gentle wall contact – the right scenario for a fusion power plant

Quasi-continuous power exhaust developed as a wall-friendly method on ASDEX Upgrade

A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

International conference QuApps shows status quo of quantum technology

02.07.2020 | Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Porous graphene ribbons doped with nitrogen for electronics and quantum computing

09.07.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Record efficiency for printed solar cells

09.07.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Rock 'n' control

09.07.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>