The management of severe dental phobia in an adolescent boy : a case report

Levitt, J. and McGoldrick, P. and Evans, D. (2000) The management of severe dental phobia in an adolescent boy : a case report. International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 10 (4). pp. 348-353. ISSN 1365-263X

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Abstract

Dental fear is a widespread problem that represents one of the major barriers to dental care. This report describes a case study of a 12-year-old boy who presented with dental phobia characterized as ‘fear of catastrophe’, ‘generalized dental fear’ and ‘fear of specific stimuli’. The referral came from his general dental practitioner who had been unable to carry out even the simplest dental procedure on him. The patient required prevention, conservation and root canal therapy. The case illustrates the use of physical strategies, including muscle relaxation and relaxation breathing; practice strategies, including graded exposure and cognitive strategies, combined with individual control methods and inhalation sedation to successfully complete the dental treatment plan.