|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 92-94
The prevalence of anxiety and fear in dental patients: A short study
Deepak Chaudhary1, Shipra Saxena1, Deviprasad Mahanta2, Parul Yadav1, Shoha H Patel1, Sarita Agarwal1, Karandeep Singh Arora3
1 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and Microbiology, Daswani Dental College and Research Centre, Kota, Rajasthan, India
2 Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopaedics, Daswani Dental College and Research Centre, Kota, Rajasthan, India
3 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Bhojia Dental College and Hospital, Baddi, Himachal Pradesh, India
|Date of Submission||25-Sep-2019|
|Date of Acceptance||10-Mar-2020|
|Date of Web Publication||21-May-2020|
Karandeep Singh Arora
House No. 1078, Sector 19-B, Chandigarh (UT) - 160 019
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: Dental anxiety and fear are the major complications for both patient and dental care providers. The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of dental anxiety and fear in patients visiting the dental institute with respect to their gender. Materials and Methods: In the present study, 100 patients were provided with certain questionnaire which included two sections. The first section concerning age, gender, educational level, frequency of dental visits, reasons for irregular attendance, and existence of past traumatic experience. The second section comprises modified dental anxiety scale. Data was collected and analyzed with respect to gender using the statistical analysis. Results and Conclusion: Anxiety-associated dental treatment is widespread in the study population. Dental anxiety was higher in women and in the patients with traumatic dental experiences.
Keywords: Anxiety, dental patients, fear, modified dental anxiety scale
|How to cite this article:|
Chaudhary D, Saxena S, Mahanta D, Yadav P, Patel SH, Agarwal S, Arora KS. The prevalence of anxiety and fear in dental patients: A short study. Indian J Dent Sci 2020;12:92-4
|How to cite this URL:|
Chaudhary D, Saxena S, Mahanta D, Yadav P, Patel SH, Agarwal S, Arora KS. The prevalence of anxiety and fear in dental patients: A short study. Indian J Dent Sci [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Aug 11];12:92-4. Available from: http://www.ijds.in/text.asp?2020/12/2/92/284665
| Introduction|| |
Dental anxiety is a very common problem that can be quite unpleasant for the patient and interferes with the dental treatment. Individuals with high dental anxiety most of the time avoid treatment, delay it, or demand requests for assistance that can range from a short discussion with dental staff to general anesthesia. Additional risk factors for the development of dental fear include personality factors such as children expressing shyness or tendencies of negative emotionality., The amount and nature of dental anxiety varies from one individual to another. It has been recommended that with the help of psychometric measures, patient's dental anxiety can be assessed. There are numerous dental anxiety measurement scales for assessments. Most well-known adult questionnaire made to assess dental anxiety is the Corah's Dental Anxiety Scale (DAS). The DAS consists of four questions about different dental situations. Each question is scored from 1 (not anxious) to 5 (extremely anxious), and hence, the range of possible scores is 4–20. Significant anxiety is indicated for the score of 15 or more. Another popular anxiety scale is the modified DAS (MDAS),, which consists of five questionnaires having score distributed as one (nonanxious) and five extremely anxious. The score for each respective questionnaire is added. Cutoff is 19 or above indicates a highly dentally anxious patient, possibly dentally phobic. Dentists are not very use to analyzing individual responses to dental anxiety measures and thus do not prefer to adopt such a process. However, with practice and training, the inclusion of routine anxiety assessment may lessen the overall contact time between patient and dentist. Therefore, this study aims at assessing the level of anxiety in the study population according to gender.
| Materials and Methods|| |
A total of 100 patients comprising 43 males and 57 female patients visiting the dental hospital were randomly selected for the study and were provided with the first section of MDAS questionnaire. The first section was concerned with age, gender, educational level, frequency of dental visits, reasons for irregular attendance, and existence of past traumatic experience. The second section comprises the MDAS and this section was not provided to the study group. Patients were asked to select a suitable option for each question and the form was submitted. For each questionnaire, patient scoring was added to give a total score for all five respective questions. Data were collected and analyzed with respect to gender using MDAS.
| Results|| |
In the present study, male and female patients showed significant P value with anxiety scale [Table 1]; however, female patients showed a higher level of anxiety as compared to males in the study group having a mean anxiety score of 11.80 [Table 2].
|Table 1: Frequency breakdown and N size for participant sample including modified dental anxiety scale mean standard deviation and percent ≥19|
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|Table 2: Graphical representation showing mean modified dental anxiety scale score in male and female|
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| Discussion|| |
The present study results were consistent with the study done by Neverlien in 1990, who assessed that women had significantly higher mean values on the data acquisition (DAQ) than men in all age groups, and for both genders, the mean DAQ values decreased with increasing age.
Settineri et al., in 2005, studied the presence of dental anxiety in a group of 189 females and 176 males using the following scales: the DAS (divided into DAS 1 containing six items, which explores a patient's dental anxiety and DAS 2 containing 13 items, which looks at dental anxiety concerning dentist-patient relations), the self-rating depression scale (SDS), and the quality of life index (QL-Index). The results obtained showed significant differences only in relation to dental anxiety regarding the use of instruments (such as needles and handpieces) and the tilted-back position of the chair (DAS 1). There were no significant gender differences emerged between the two groups in relation to dental anxiety regarding dentist-patient relations (DAS 2), depression (SDS), and the quality of life (QL-Index).
Similarly, study by Berggren in 1992 reported women have high anxiety scores than men. The frequencies of extreme fears (6 and 7 on a 7-point scale) were high, and 92.7% of the patients reported at least one extreme fear. There are some studies which indicate that younger adults may show lower dental anxiety than their more middle-aged counterparts., Lehrner et al. reported that ambient odor of orange in a dental office reduces anxiety and improves mood in female patients.
| Summary and Conclusion|| |
Anxiety may be described as an emotional state that is commonly present on a visit to the dentist and is more frequently associated with females than in males. The present study was carried out to assess the anxiety levels in patients with respect to gender. It showed that study patients showed significant levels of anxiety with respect to dental treatment, with females having a higher P value than males. The higher level of dental anxiety in females can be because of various conditions such as infrequent visits to the dentist, the long wait in the dental office, and previous traumatic procedure. This dental anxiety explains why women commonly avoid dental treatment. Certain measures such as reducing long waiting time and proper explanation of surgical procedure should be carried out by the dental office staff to reduce dental anxiety for female patients to motivate them for dental treatment and lessen dental anxiety.
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Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Table 1], [Table 2]