Long-term management of the fearful adult patient using behavior modification and other modalities.J Dent Educ. 2001 Dec; 65(12):1357-68.JD
This paper reviews reports on the treatment of fearful adult dental patients with special emphasis on behavioral and cognitive methods and long-term followup. A number of such treatment methods are available that can be used by dentists for the alleviation of fear and anxiety in their patients. At an "intuitive" level, many dentists probably use these methods frequently as a comprehensive part of everyday praxis. Considering the high number of fearful individuals visiting dentists regularly, a better knowledge of such methods would improve dental care for the majority of these patients. It would also help prevent aggravation of fears among individuals at risk. However, despite the success of treatment methods performed by specially trained dentists, it seems reasonable that there should be limits to what can be expected of a dentist in terms of psychological, diagnostic, and therapeutic competence. Dental phobia may constitute a complex psychological and odontological problem with far-reaching consequences for a relatively large proportion of fearful individuals. It therefore seems likely that optimal care of such patients can best be achieved by cross-disciplinary efforts involving both dentists and psychologists.