-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- If you're afraid of going
to the dentist, optimism and humor might help ease your worries,
new research suggests.
About 50 percent of adults suffer some degree of dental fear and
about 5 percent have severe dental fear. Even so, most people with
dental fear go to the dentist regularly.
Swedish researchers have found that important factors in
managing stress during a dental visit include optimism on the part
of the patient and an atmosphere of humor in a patient's
interaction with the dental staff.
In one study, the University of Gothenburg team asked people
with dental fear to complete a questionnaire and identified five
main methods used by the patients to fight dental fear:
"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," researcher Jenny Bernson said in a university news release.
In a second study, interviews with patients with dental fear
revealed that humor was an important factor in dealing with dental
"Psychological barriers can be broken down by humor, both as a result of the patient and the dentist coming together more as equals, and as a result of humor reducing stress, increasing well-being and creating a pleasant atmosphere," Bernson said.
The Columbia University College of Dental Medicine has more
dental anxiety and phobia.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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