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Effect of intended treatment on anxiety and on reaction to electric pulp stimulation in dental patients.

Research paper by I I Eli, Y Y Bar-Tal, Z Z Fuss, A A Silberg

Indexed on: 20 May '98Published on: 20 May '98Published in: Journal of Endodontics



Abstract

Fear and anxiety are common emotional concomitants of acute pain that increase the perception of noxious events as painful. In the present study, 92 patients who were about to undergo various dental treatments (calculus removal, filling, root canal treatment, and extraction) were evaluated comparing the level of their dental anxiety and pain expectation from the intended treatment to their reaction to electric pulp stimulation. The data indicate that patients differ significantly in their dental anxiety levels and in their expectation to experience pain according to the following hierarchy (in descending order): extraction, root canal treatment, filling, and calculus removal. Anxiety and amount of pain expected from treatment correlated significantly with each other, but no simple correlations were found between anxiety and actual pain measures recorded after pulp stimulation.