Classification Of Dental Fears

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The classification of dental fears has taken two primary directions. In one direction the patients have been regarded as having a phobia. The term 'odontophobia' was coined by Borland and is commonly referred to as dental phobia (Borland, 1963).

In the other direction Molin & Seeman (1970) considered the fear suffered by dental patients falling under a more diffuse category referred to as 'dental fear' or 'dental anxiety' and preferred the term 'disproportionate dental anxiety'.

The contemporary classification of dental anxiety is subsumed under the classification of anxiety disorders in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical 'Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV; APA, 1994).

The anxiety disorders include panic disorder with or without agoraphobia, agoraphobia without panic disorder, specific phobia, social phobia, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, acute stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorders and anxiety disorders due to a medical condition.

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