The power of interpersonal relationships in dentistry and patient´s pain

Author: Lorelei Nassar, DMD, MD
24-7 Dental Clinic, Bucharest, Romania

Dental pain is a signal which can shape the individual psychological reaction on the one hand (Barber, & Adrian, 1982) and the interpersonal relation between the doctor and patient on the other hand, holding both organized and psychogenic components, with mixed origins (Feldman, 2004).

The psychological participation in the pain process, includes sensory modality reaction experienced by the patient (Tenenbaum, Mock, Gordon, Goklberg, Grossi, Locker, & Davis, 2001), peripheral components of pain - including reactions specific to the patients personality (Frischenschlager, & Pucher, 2002); preexistent emotional disorders which cause the pain to be more frequent and intense in correlation with the stress that appeared (Chapman, & Gavrin, 1999) and not lastly the problem of psychosocial “learning” of painful manifestations (Melamed, & Mealiea 1981; Littlewood, & Mitchell, 1998).

In dentistry there are present a high number of stress factors, capable of causing a psychogenic pain: anxiety, depression, even the patient’s relation with the dentist and the general health status of the patient. All of these factors can influence the quantity and quality of pain (Asmussen, Peutzfeldt, & Sahafi, 2005).

Keywords: dentistry, pain, interpersonal relationships