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Dental pain and oral health-related quality of life in individuals with severe dental anxiety

Journal article
Authors Lisa Svensson
Magnus Hakeberg
Ulla Wide
Published in Acta Odontologica Scandinavica
Volume 76
Issue 6
Pages 401-406
ISSN 0001-6357
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Odontology
Pages 401-406
Language en
Keywords Dental anxiety, dental pain, prevalence, united-states, facial-pain, fear, prevalence, avoidance, dentistry, impacts, phobia, adults, consequences, Dentistry, Oral Surgery & Medicine
Subject categories Surgical research


Objectives: To analyze the prevalence and level of dental pain among adult individuals with severe dental anxiety (DA), and the association between dental pain and oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL). Methods: The study was based on 170 adult individuals with DA referred to a specialized DA clinic. All patients answered a questionnaire including questions on DA (DAS, DFS), OHRQoL (OIDP) and dental pain. An adapted clinical examination and a panoramic radiograph revealed the present oral status. Results: The prevalence of dental pain was high (77.6%) and among those reporting pain the intensity was high (49.0-61.0 on a VAS). One or more problems during the last 6 months with the mouth or teeth affecting the individual's daily activities were reported in 85.3% of the participants. Individuals who reported dental pain had lower OHRQoL compared with those who did not report dental pain (p<.001). Dental pain and number of decayed teeth were associated with the probability of poor OHRQoL (OR = 8.2, p<.001, OR = 3.8, p = .008). Conclusion: This study revealed a high prevalence and a high level of dental pain among adult individuals with severe DA. Having dental pain was associated with poor OHRQoL.

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