The Child’s Reactions to Dental Care

  • Sol Goldstein


Visiting the dentist has always been at best an anxiety-producing experience, evoking in some patients visions of outright panic and trauma. There may have been some realistic reasons for this in the past, when certain procedures were quite painful. Although modern dental techniques afford far less pain and a shorter period in the chair, dental visits remain, for most, a dreaded and troublesome experience. Usually adults can control their anxiety and discomfort without interfering with the dentist. Children, however, typically translate anxiety into action, in this case non-cooperation with the dentist. This may seriously interfere with the treatment being attempted. How then does one obtain the co-operation of the child?


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Recommended For Further Reading

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    AYER, W. A. “Use of Visual Imagery in Needle Phobic Children.” J. Dent Child. 60: 125–27, 1973. —discusses the extreme fear of injection and of extractions in some children visiting the dentist. Describes some successful approaches to the elimination of this kind of phobia, which are based largely on Wolpe’s behaviour therapy technique (which attempts to condition various stimuli that are incompatible with anxiety).Google Scholar
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Additional Reading

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    FREUD, ANNA. The Psychoanalytical Treatment of Children. New York, I.U.P., 1965.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Limited 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sol Goldstein

There are no affiliations available

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