Dental Anxiety : A Significant Problem For Both The Patient And The Clinicians

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DEOH 303- Reflective Essay (Student ID:7559879)

Dental anxiety is known to be a significant problem for both the patient and the clinicians. Avoidance of dental appointment due to anxiety is common which can lead to delayed management, prolong pain and thus create a negative cycle of cumulative anxiety and increasing avoidance (Lahmann, Schoen, Henningsen, Ronel, Muehlbacher, Loew, Tritt, Nickel & Doering, 2008). Development of dental anxiety is usually associated with traumatic expectations associate with dental treatment. Pain or fear of pain is often a key source of anxiety and a cause of negative dental experience. Administration of local anaesthetics tends to be the major anxiety-provoking stimulus. Appropriate management to reduce or eliminate fear induced by dental injection can be equally beneficial to the patient and the clinicians. This is critical in children as what we do now can have an significant impact on their perspective on oral health for life. This is the stage where dental therapist wants to build a solid foundation that will shape positive attitude and behaviour as they transit into adulthood.

Various pharmacological (e.g. general anaesthetic) and non-pharmacological interventions (e.g. behaviour techniques) had been used with variant success rates over many years to target dental anxiety. Non-pharmacological interventions are shown to have higher preference than anxiolytic drug therapy (Lahmann et al, 2008). Young
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