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Prevalence of dental anxiety in an adult population in a major urban area in Sweden.

Journal article
Authors Magnus Hakeberg
Ulf Berggren
Sven G. Carlsson
Published in Community dentistry and oral epidemiology
Volume 20
Issue 2
Pages 97-101
ISSN 0301-5661
Publication year 1992
Published at Institute of Odontology
Department of Psychology
Pages 97-101
Language en
Links www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...
Keywords Adolescent, Adult, Age Factors, Community Dentistry, Dental Anxiety, diagnosis, epidemiology, Dental Care, psychology, Fear, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Prevalence, Private Practice, Reproducibility of Results, Sex Factors, Sweden, epidemiology, Urban Population
Subject categories Psychology

Abstract

The aims of the study were to describe the level of dental anxiety in a representative sample of an adult population, to evaluate different demographic variables in relation to dental anxiety, and to compare two measurement scales of dental anxiety. A random sample of residents (n = 830) of the city of Gothenburg (population 432,000) was selected for a telephone survey. The survey comprised different questions concerning demographic variables, dental care habits, and the level of dental anxiety. The methods of measurement of dental anxiety were a 10-point dental Fear Scale (FS) and the Corah Dental Anxiety Scale (DAS). A total of 620 interviews were completed giving a response rate of 74.7%. 41.4% of the respondents were males, 58.6% females. Females were significantly more likely to report a high dental anxiety compared with males. The prevalence of high dental anxiety in the sample as measured by the FS and DAS was 6.7% and 5.4% respectively. The correlation between the FS and DAS was 0.81. The distribution of high dental anxiety and age showed a clearly and significantly higher portion of dental anxiety in the age group 20-39 yr compared to both younger and older groups. The effect of dental anxiety on regularity of dental visits revealed a significant difference as measured by the FS. No significant correlation was found between dental anxiety and educational level or income. A majority of the respondents (82-95%) expressed a desire for establishment of a special dental fear treatment clinic without need for referral.

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