'Filling' anxious at the dentist's cell: regrowth for a new smile

Ditchburn, Jae-Llane (2019) 'Filling' anxious at the dentist's cell: regrowth for a new smile. University of Cumbria blog [online] . (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Some people are afraid to visit the dentist 1. For them, visits to the dentist are associated with feelings of anxiety of having to open their mouths for a relative stranger to examine and worse, use what looks like a sharp instrument to drill holes into their teeth. People who experience dental anxiety 2 also tend to skip attending their dental appointments, delay in seeking treatment or simply avoid it altogether 3. Fear associated with dental treatment is ranked as both the fifth most common and fifth most intense fear and phobia in the general population 4,5. Increased dental anxiety associated with stimuli or physical sensations has been reported in people undergoing dental procedures such as “feeling the drill in the mouth” 6. A higher number of decayed tooth surfaces, tooth decay and missing teeth along with a lower number of tooth fillings or functional teeth are more commonly seen in people with high dental fear compared to those with low dental fear. Interestingly, a study found no differences in caries prevalence between these groups of high and lower dental fear 7. This suggests that we are all at risk of dental caries that can occur in tooth enamel, dentin, surface, and pit and fissures 8. Perceived levels of dental anxiety also vary with different dental treatments, for instance, tooth extraction has perceived to be the most fearful 9 yet the occurrence of dental anxiety in patients persists regardless of whether they have had previous experience in endodontic treatment or previous experience in pain in the treated tooth 10. This brings us to the question of having good teeth. What if our teeth and gums are always healthy to enable every dental visit to become pleasant and “drill”-free?

References:
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5. Carter, A. E., Carter, G., Boschen, M., AlShwaimi, E. & George, R. Pathways of fear and anxiety in dentistry: A review. World J. Clin. Cases 2, 642–653 (2014).
6. Holtzman, J. M., Berg, R. G., Mann, J. & Berkey, D. B. The relationship of age and gender to fear and anxiety in response to dental care. Spec. Care Dentist. 17, 82–87 (1997).
7. Schuller, A. A., Willumsen, T. & Holst, D. Are there differences in oral health and oral health behaviour between individuals with high and low dental fear? Community Dent. Oral Epidemiol. 31, 116–121 (2003).
8. Selwitz, R. H., Ismail, A. I. & Pitts, N. B. Dental caries. The Lancet 369, 51–59 (2007).
9. Stabholz, A. & Peretz, B. Dental anxiety among patients prior to different dental treatments. Int. Dent. J. 49, 90–94 (1999).
10. Peretz, B. & Moshonov, J. Dental anxiety among patients undergoing endodontic treatment. J. Endod. 24, 435–437 (1998).

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: University of Cumbria blog [online]
Publisher: University of Cumbria
Departments: STEM
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2019 15:38
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2019 15:42
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/4843

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