Objectives: Dental phobia is a psychological disease and a possible contraindication for implant therapy. The study aimed to show that implant therapy in dental-phobic patients (DP, test group) after adequate psychological and dental pretreatment (PDPT) is successfully possible and results in a similar implant prognosis as in nonfearful patients (NF, control group).
Method and Materials: 15 DP with PDPT and 15 NF were treated with dental implants and were re-evaluated 2 to 4 years after denture-mounting regarding: alteration of dental anxiety (Hierarchical Anxiety Questionnaire [HAQ], Visual Analog Scale [VAS]), patient satisfaction and compliance, implant success, and peri-implant health. Statistical tests of non-inferiority DP versus NF were performed with Hodges-Lehmann estimators and respective one-sided 97.5% confidence intervals of Moses, and pairwise testings with Mann-Whitney test.
Results: The DP test group rated its anxiety significantly lower at follow- up than at baseline (PHAQ < .001). However, at follow-up, anxiety was still higher in DP than in NF (PHAQ = .046; PVAS < .001). Implant success at follow-up was 100%. Oral health was equally good in DP and NF patients. At follow-up, all patients were satisfied with implant therapy, but compliance was better for NF (100%) than for DP (73% dental checkup; 67% dental hygienist).
Conclusion: Implant therapy can be successfully performed in DP patients with PDPT as phobia is not negatively influenced by the invasive implant therapy. However, motivation for professional maintenance programs remains challenging.
Keywords: contraindication, dental anxiety, dental phobia, implantology, implant success, psychological trauma