The prevalence of dental anxiety and fear in patients referred to Isfahan Dental School, Iran

Masoud Saatchi, Mansoureh Abtahi, Golshan Mohammad Mohammadi, Motahare Mirdamadi, Elham Sadaat Binandeh


Background: Dental anxiety and fear are major complications for both patient and dental care
provider. The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of dental anxiety and fear in
patients who referred to Isfahan Dental School and their relation to their age, gender, educational
level, past traumatic experiences and frequency of dental visits.
Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 473 patients were provided with a
questionnaire including three sections. First section contained questions concerning their age,
gender, educational level, frequency of dental visits, reasons for irregular attendance and existence
of past traumatic experiences. Second section comprised a Farsi version of Modifi ed Dental Anxiety
Scale (MDAS); and third included a Farsi version of dental fear survey (DFS). Data were analyzed
by t-test, ANOVA, Pearson and Spearman correlation tests.
Results: The prevalence of dental anxiety among the study population was 58.8%. No correlation
was found between age and MDAS (r = −0.08, P = 0.07) and DFS (r = −0.03, P = 0.53). Women
demonstrated higher anxiety (P < 0.001) and fear (P = 0.003). Education had no signifi cant effect
on dental anxiety (r = −0.046, P = 0.32) and dental fear (r = −0.017, P = 0.79). Previous traumatic
experiences were found to result in elevated anxiety and fear (P < 0.001). There was an inverse
relationship between frequency of dental attendance and anxiety (r = −0.128, P = 0.008).
Conclusions: Within the limitations of this study, anxiety associated with dental treatment was
widespread in the study population. Dental fear and anxiety were not affected by age or education
level. Dental fear and anxiety were higher in women. In addition, people who visited the dentist
more regularly and individuals without previous traumatic dental experiences were less anxious.
Key Words: Dental anxiety, dental fear, dental treatment, prevalence, sociodemographic data

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.