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May ASDA News

ASDA News is your resource for dental news on topics like licensure, student debt, practice management, dental student life and some fun stuff too. Grab a cup of coffee, steal a few minutes between classes and flip through the latest issue. ASDA News makes it easy and fun to stay in the know about your profession.

How dental anxiety affects your patients
By Clayton Luz, freelance writer 

A fearful patient can pose a considerable treatment challenge, especially for dental students who may unintentionally miss signals that their patient is uncomfortable.

Dr. Peter Milgrom, professor of oral health sciences at the University of Washington and founder and former director of its Dental Fears Research Clinic, believes that students lacking clinical experience “tend to completely focus on technical procedures” or “feel under pressure to perform at a certain rate” because of clinic time constrictions or limited rest breaks. Perhaps compounding their challenge with treating anxious patients, many dental students haven’t received specific training or taken a course on the issue. Typically, treatment of fearful patients is folded within general patient treatment considerations in courses like restorative dentistry, for example.

Based on a 2009 survey conducted by the American Association of Endodontists, more than 80 percent of Americans fear the dentist. Dr. Milgrom reports that 5-8 percent of fearful patients avoid dental treatment because of dentophobia, an acute form of dental fear. Keep reading… 

To read more from the May issue, click here. 

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