Does the trait anxiety affect the dental fear?

Yusuf Cetin DOGANER Umit AYDOGAN Hande Ucler YESIL James Edwin ROHRER Mark Douglas WILLIAMS David Charles AGERTER About the authors


The aims of the present study were to evaluate possible associations between trait anxiety, dental fear and the predictors of these interactions including demographic characteristics and dental history of patients applied to the dental care center in Ankara, Turkey. A sample of 607 participants (mean age: 21.02 ± 2.32) responded to a Turkish version of the Modified Dental Fear Survey (MDFS), the State–Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-T) and a questionnaire regarding previous negative dental experience. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to identify the association between dental fear and the independent variables including trait anxiety, age groups, education level, dental visit frequency, experience and the source of dental knowledge. There was a trend for increasing in trait anxiety scores with greater levels of dental fear in a medium level of the dental fear group (OR = 1.055, 95%CI [1.025–1.086]; p < 0.001) and in a high level of the dental fear group (OR = 1.090 [1.057–1.124]; p < 0.001). Comparing to the low level of dental fear group; participants of medium dental fear level intended more likely to go to the dentist when they have a complaint instead of regularly going (odds ratio; OR = 3.177, 95%CI [1.304–7.741]; p = 0.011). Participants of high dental fear level tended to be less likely to have experienced no problem (OR = 0.476, 95%CI [0.284–0.795]; p = 0.005) than the low level of the dental fear group. We strongly indicate that higher dental fear scores have a predisposition of having high trait anxiety scores. Unpleasant dental experiences increased the risk for high dental fear levels. Patients with dental fear tended only to visit a dentist when necessary, avoiding regular visits.

Dental Health Services; Behavioral Sciences; Public Health Dentistry

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