Reducing fear of pain associated with endodontic therapy

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Abstract

Aim

To provide subjects with positive information about endodontic treatment (ET) to reduce fear of pain associated with ET.

Methodology

A large sample (n = 437) was randomly allocated to read one of five informative paragraphs and afterwards asked to complete two questionnaires (dental anxiety and fear of dental pain). The paragraphs consisted of dental information obtained from patient brochures. One (experimental) paragraph consisted of positive information about pain during ET. Analysis of variance followed by post hoc analysis was used to detect differences in mean score.

Results

Subjects who were given the positive information regarding ET indicated they were less fearful of pain associated with ET.

Conclusions

The clinical implication of this experiment is that patients should be accurately informed about pain associated with ET. In this way, the patient may be more at ease before and during treatment, decrease avoidance behaviour and make decisions regarding treatment choice, based on common sense rather than fearful expectations.

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