Social media exposes fear of dentist's chair

April 4, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—A study of YouTube videos including emotional scenes where children and teens are seen crying, screaming and panicked has revealed new insight into their fear and loathing of going to the dentist.

A team of researchers from universities in China, Malayasia and The University of Western Australia tapped into the video platform expecting to record spontaneous personal reactions which could add to existing knowledge about Dental Fear and Anxiety (DFA).

What they found was that fear of the dentist has a variety of manifestations, impacts, and origins, some of which only became apparent when using internet and social media, supporting the value of social media to gain a better understanding of health issues.

Of the 182 videos researchers found concerning people's views or experiences on DFA, 27 videos about 32 children or adolescents (17 males and 15 females) were analysed, including three videos concerning both children/adolescents and adults.

The study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research said videos often showed immediate physical reactions such as crying piteously, screaming forcefully and shivering uncontrollably. Removal of wisdom teeth was a nightmare to some adolescents after hearing terrible stories from close friends.

One subject expressed: "I was scared to have them removed. I was afraid to turn 18. I absolutely hated the dentist."

It found some children's fear was installed by careless words from parents including the mother of one girl who attributed her daughter's uncooperative behaviour to her father who had told her in a teasing tone that: "the dentist would pull your teeth".

"The personal narratives and original sharing uploaded spontaneously by patients and the public to YouTube provide a rich context to our existing knowledge of dental fear," research co-author Winthrop Professor Nigel King said.

"Dental and Anxiety in children is known to cause uncooperative behaviour during dental visits, delays in treatment, sleep disorders and psychological issues that can affect daily life," he added.

The study concludes that attaching real life experiences to existing knowledge on DFA unveiled some missing pieces of the puzzle which could be corroborated through further studies incorporating in-depth interviews with parents and patients to help paediatric patients regulate their emotions while they face other challenges in life.

Explore further: Fear of the dentist is passed on to children by their parents

More information:

Related Stories

Fear of the dentist is passed on to children by their parents

November 16, 2012
Fear of visiting the dentist is a frequent problem in paediatric dentistry. A new study confirms the emotional transmission of dentist fear among family members and analyses the different roles that mothers and fathers might ...

From one generation to the next, dental care changes

May 18, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Stephanie Crowe, a mother of three from Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., still remembers dreading a visit to the dentist as a young girl. It was often a painful experience, and her family's dentist showed little empathy ...

Optimism and humour can help to combat dental fear

February 6, 2012
Scientists at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have investigated the strategies used by people who suffer from dental fear to cope with dental treatment. Some of the most important factors in managing ...

Dental surgeon adds music to drill to appease patients

October 11, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—Doctor Dhanni Gustiana, a dental surgeon in the Indonesian city of Purworejo has devised a unique way to calm patients undergoing dental procedures. He's connected an MP3 player to a dental drill that plays ...

Root cause of dental phobia

March 12, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Women in their forties are more likely to have dental anxiety than any other age group according to a University of Sydney study into dental anxiety and phobia.

Tiny tots in the dentist's chair among changes in pediatric dentistry

May 18, 2012
(HealthDay) -- If you've been to the dentist with your children recently, you may have noticed that things have changed since you were a kid.

Recommended for you

Blowing smoke? E-cigarettes might help smokers quit

July 26, 2017
People who used e-cigarettes were more likely to kick the habit than those who didn't, a new study found.

Brain disease seen in most football players in large report

July 25, 2017
Research on 202 former football players found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them, from athletes in the National Football League, college and even high school.

Safety of medical devices not often evaluated by sex, age, or race

July 25, 2017
Researchers at Yale and the University of California-San Francisco have found that few medical devices are analyzed to consider the influence of their users' sex, age, or race on safety and effectiveness.

Why you should consider more than looks when choosing a fitness tracker

July 25, 2017
A UNSW study of five popular physical activity monitors, including Fitbit and Jawbone models, has found their accuracy differs with the speed of activity, and where they are worn.

Dog walking could be key to ensuring activity in later life

July 24, 2017
A new study has shown that regularly walking a dog boosts levels of physical activity in older people, especially during the winter.

Study finds 275,000 calls to poison control centers for dietary supplement exposures from 2000 through 2012

July 24, 2017
U.S. Poison Control Centers receive a call every 24 minutes, on average, regarding dietary supplement exposures, according to a new study from the Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Central Ohio Poison Center, ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.