Published on

Dental fear? It’s all in the ear say researchers.

The brain responses of dental phobic patients to the sound of dental equipment differ greatly to those patients more relaxed about sitting in the dental chair.

That’s according to a new study by researchers in Japan who scanned people’s brains while playing them sounds of dental drills and suction instruments.

The results were reported this weekend at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego, US.

The study could help scientists assess different ways to make patients more at ease, by seeing how they alter neural activity, said Hiroyuki Karibe at the Nippon Dental University in Tokyo.

People in the low-fear group were not overly anxious about going to the dentist. When they heard dental sounds, parts of the brain called the left and right superior temporal gyri responded more than when they heard neutral sounds.

This, Hiroyuki Karibe said, means that dental sounds triggered more activity in the primary auditory areas of the brain.

Anxious people responded differently. Instead of a surge of activity in the auditory areas of their brain, he said he saw a more intense response in a region called the left caudate nucleus that may play a role in learning and remembering the sounds of the dental instruments.

The 2009 Adult Dental Health Survey published by the NHS Information Centre suggests that as many as 12% of people in the UK experience extreme dental anxiety and that women are twice as likely as men to suffer from this.

The most conservative estimates suggest that 5% of people avoid dentists altogether due to fear and many more are anxious about dentistry.


Tags: , ,

Recent news articles

Free Teeth Straightening Guide
Free Teeth Straightening Guide

Published on 14th March 2018

Would you like to learn more about Short Term Orthodontics and the various treatment options that are available? We have a simple “Free Teeth Straightening…

FHDC Dentists in Leeds Logo
IMPORTANT: Traffic Disruption 6 March 2018

Published on 8th March 2018

Latest Update: The practice is now open (well done Georgette for first one to get there). The rest of the team are on the way…

FHDC Dentist Car Park in Snow
FHDC is open despite the snow… But call to confirm

Published on 1st March 2018

We are still open despite the bad weather. Our opening hours might change slightly so it’s best to call on 0113 275 1323 to double…

Good Luck to Megan

Published on 16th February 2018

Everyone at FHDC would like to wish Megan all the very best for the future in her new role as Office Manager at the University…

Dental Veneers are a popular dental treatment
Focus on Dental Veneers

Published on 6th February 2018

Dental Veneers are now one of the most requested services at our Leeds based dental clinic. What are Dental Veneers you might be asking? Well…

Beware of rogue teeth whitening
Beware of Illegal Teeth Whitening

Published on 6th February 2018

A recent BBC report warns people to be aware of illegal tooth whitening after a number of beauticians have been found performing illegal teeth whitening…

Subscribe for news and offers...