The management of dental anxiety and impact of psychosomatic factors on dentistry: is recent scientific research translated into German dental practices?

J Health Psychol. 2013 Dec;18(12):1519-28. doi: 10.1177/1359105312465910. Epub 2012 Dec 6.


This study investigated the dentists' knowledge about psychosomatic medicine. Anxiolytic techniques, considerations about psychosomatic medicine, and referrals to psychotherapists were examined by a questionnaire. Overall, 65 percent felt negatively affected by patients with dental fear. Few dentists used relaxation techniques and hypnosis. The relationship between psychosomatic factors and pain perception was well known, but not their impact on wound healing. The frequency of continuing education courses correlated with a broader range of treatment techniques and less difficulties in treatment. Research evidence about the impact of psychological factors on dental treatment has not been translated into dental practice.

Keywords: dental anxiety; depression; pain; psychosomatic; wound healing.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Dental Care / psychology*
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders*
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Wound Healing