Psychological Intrusion – An Overlooked Aspect of Dental Fear

Chapman, Helen and Kirby-Turner, Nick (2018) Psychological Intrusion – An Overlooked Aspect of Dental Fear. Frontiers in Psychology, 9 (501). ISSN N/A

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Psychological Intrusion – An Overlooked Aspect of Dental Fear
Chapman HR and Kirby-Turner N (2018) Psychological Intrusion – An Overlooked Aspect of Dental Fear. Front. Psychol. 9:501. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00501 Available from
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Dental fear/anxiety is a widely recognised problem affecting a large proportion of the population. It can result in avoidance and/or difficulty accepting dental care. We believe that psychological intrusion may play a role in the aetiology and maintenance of dental fear for at least some individuals. In this narrative review we will take a developmental perspective in order to understand its impact across the lifespan. We will consider the nature of ‘self,’ parenting styles, the details of intrusive parenting or parental psychological control, and briefly touch upon child temperament and parental anxiety. Finally, we draw together the supporting (largely unrecognised) evidence available in the dental literature. We illustrate the paper with clinical examples and discuss possibly effective ways of addressing the problem. We conclude that psychological intrusion appears to play an important role in dental fear, for at least some individuals, and we call for detailed research into the extent and exact nature of the problem. A simple means of identifying individuals who are vulnerable to psychological intrusion would be useful for dentists.

Keywords:intrusion, intrusive parenting, psychological control, dental fear, dental anxiety, parenting, temperament
Subjects:A Medicine and Dentistry > A990 Medicine and Dentistry not elsewhere classified
C Biological Sciences > C890 Psychology not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
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ID Code:32220
Deposited On:27 Jun 2018 21:02

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