Shaila Tahir, Farkhanda Ghafoor, Aman Ullah Khan.
Dental phobia in patients seeking dental treatment.
Pak J Med Res Jun ;49(4):112-5.

Background: Phobia against dental procedures is recognized as an important factor in inhibiting patients from seeking dental treatment. Objectives: To study the types and levels of dental phobia in patients seeking dental treatment. Settings and duration of study: Fatima Memorial Dental College Hospital, Lahore from August, 2008 to January, 2009. Patients and Methods: All adult patients coming for dental scaling, extraction, filling and root canal treatment who consented to participate in the study were included, while those with impaction, extensive periodontal treatment and edentulous were excluded. All patients were interviewed regarding their fears about dental procedures using structured questionnaire. The information was classified into 3 scales as strongly negative (phobic) moderately negative and neutral. Results: A total of 76 patients were selected for the study. Dental phobia presenting as lack of confidence to ask questions from the dentist was observed in 30% patients while 96% had some previous bad experience at a dental clinic. Varying levels of phobia were noted for all other types of services as well as for the dentist’s attitude towards the patients. Conclusions: Dentists should recognize the existence of dental phobia in patients coming for treatment and need to develop skills in minimizing phobia. Policy message: To reduce fear and phobia dentists need to communicate more with the patients before undertaking any treatment.

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