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Lefer, L. (1966). A Psychoanalytic View of a Dental Phenomenon—Psychosomatics of the Temporomandibular Joint Pain Dysfunction Syndrome. Contemp. Psychoanal., 2(2):135-150.

(1966). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 2(2):135-150

A Psychoanalytic View of a Dental Phenomenon—Psychosomatics of the Temporomandibular Joint Pain Dysfunction Syndrome

Leon Lefer, M.D.

SUMMARY

The TMJ patient usually has poor ego boundaries and utilizes bodily reactions to diminish the level of anxiety aroused by the threatened eruption into awareness of oral sadistic, extractive, and incorporative needs. The symptoms arise during a time of threatened or actual disruption of a symbiotic relationship. The patient utilizes his symptoms to regain security in the form of a transference relationship with the dentist. The dentist must avoid disrupting the body image of the patient with radical mechanical procedures in his efforts to relieve symptoms. The psychiatrist may be of aid to the patient as his co-therapist—the dentist being the other partner—and of aid to the dentist as an educator.

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