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Dental anxiety, concomitant factors and change in prevalence over 50 years

Journal article
Authors Lisa Svensson
Magnus Hakeberg
Ulla Wide Boman
Published in Community Dental Health
Volume 33
Issue 2
Pages 121-126
ISSN 0265-539X
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Odontology
Pages 121-126
Language en
Keywords adult, cross-sectional, dental anxiety, epidemiology, prevalence, Sweden, oral-health behavior, adult-population, fear, avoidance, consequences, attendance, patterns, sweden, care
Subject categories Dentistry


Objective: To analyse the prevalence of Dental Anxiety (DA) in the general adult population of Sweden, to study concomitant factors of DA and also to compare the prevalence of DA in 1962 with that in 2013. Method: The national study for 2013 included 3,500 individuals, randomly selected from the Swedish population. The data sampling was performed as a telephone survey including 38 questions and this report is a selection of those questions with the focus on DA. The national study from 1962 was a face-to-face survey of 1,331 individuals randomly selected from the Swedish population. Both surveys were conducted by the same company. Results: In 2013, severe DA was reported in 4.7%, moderate DA in 4.5%, low DA in 9.8% and no DA in 80.9% of the subjects. Most (72.9%) of the subjects who reported severe DA attended dental care regularly. Important predictive factors of DA were age, gender, education, and self-rated poor oral and general health. The analysis showed a decrease in the prevalence of DA between 1962 and 2013, specifically a change towards more individuals reporting no dental anxiety (38.5% vs. 80.9%) but also smaller proportions of individuals having low and high DA (46.4% vs 9.8% and 15.1% vs 9.2%, respectively). Conclusions: In this national representative sample of Swedish adults the prevalence of severe DA was 4.7%. The main finding revealed a significant decrease of the prevalence of DA over 50 years.

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