How is dental phobia measured here in Dr. Salituro’s dental office?

June 18, 2009 by admin  
Filed under Dental Phobia

First and foremost, Dr. Pam Kaczmarek - a licensed clinical professional counselor and Doctor of clinical psychology is the person who oversees administration, interpretation, and design of assessment tools used specifically for Dr. Salituro’s patients. Having a professional counselor on staff who is savvy at working with dental phobic patients is key to a successful treatment plan.

While there are various instruments for researchers which attempt to measure the degree of the fear, such as Corah’s Dental Anxiety Scale (DAS) and a shorter version, the Modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS), Dr. Kaczmarek prefers to use her own along with a clinical interview which helps her understand the patient’s concerns.

Ask yourself the following question: “Am I terrified of dentists and avoid them at all costs?” If the answer is yes, this is a good indicator of dental phobia! Even seemingly innocuous reminders of anything dental-related may produce a panic-attack if you suffer from dental phobia, such as people talking about dentists or teeth, toothpaste commercials, or “Ĺ“dental words”. When you’re in the depth of a dental phobia, this cute teddy may strike you as pretty frightening (a dentist in teddy’s clothing) - yet another reminder of your worst nightmare.

The Difference Between Anxiety, Fear and Phobia

June 18, 2009 by admin  
Filed under Dental Phobia

A distinction has been made between dental anxiety, dental fear, and dental phobia.

  • DENTAL ANXIETY is a reaction to an UNKNOWN danger. Anxiety is extremely common, and most people experience some degree of dental anxiety especially if they’re about to have something done which they’ve never experienced before. Basically, it’s a fear of the unknown.
  • DENTAL FEAR is a reaction to a known danger (”I know what the dentist is going to do, been there, done that - I’m scared!!”), which involves a fight-or-flight response when confronted with the threatening stimulus.
  • DENTAL PHOBIA is basically the same as fear, only much stronger (”I know what happens when I go to the dentist - there’s no way I’m going back if I can help it. I’m so terrified I feel sick”). Also, the fight-or-flight response occurs when just thinking about or being reminded of the threatening situation. Someone with a dental phobia will avoid dental care at all costs until either a physical problem or the psychological burden of the phobia becomes overwhelming.

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