Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 55 Issue 2 (June 1982), Pages 109-201

Fear of dentistry (pages 119-126)

Patients attending the primary care department of a London dental hospital and a suburban general practice were interviewed to explore their experience of and reasons for anxiety about dental treatment. Results showed that anxiety was at a high level, particularly concerning certain treatment procedures. The most common reason given for fear was anticipated pain, and this was borne out by a comparison between anxiety and expected pain for a number of dental procedures. The possibility of mitigating dental fear by procedures which focus on minimizing pain expectations and pain experience is discussed.

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