Friday, January 2, 2009

Dental Fear Blocks Learning

Dentists who give information to anxious patients might not be getting through to them, a study says.

Researchers looked at how well people understand information in the dentist's office. One group was given information before having stitches removed. This was considered a lower-stress situation. The other group was given information just before surgery. This was a higher-stress situation.

Neither group understood the information very well. However, the surgery group was much less likely to understand it.

People who had a lot of dental-related fears were less likely to understand. So were people who expected to feel a lot of pain from their dental procedure.

The study suggests that important information should be given to patients when they are not anxious or fearful. Otherwise, they may not understand it.

The study appears in the January issue of the Journal of Dental Research.