Dental anxiety among adults in Turkey

Department of Oral Surgery, Faculty of Dentistry, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.
The journal of contemporary dental practice 08/2006; 7(3):75-82.
Source: PubMed


This aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of dental anxiety and related factors in a Turkish population.
The Turkish translation of the Dental Fear Scale (DFS) and the Modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS) were administered to 115 dental patients consisting of 21 subjects who had dental phobia and of 94 patients who did not. The scales were also administered to a non-clinical general population (N=183).
The Turkish version of the DFS was internally consistent and reproducible. The scale had strong correlations (r=0.80, p<0.001 ) with the MDAS. Female participants scored higher (45.2+/-18.1) on the scale than men (38.2+/-15.7). The DFS had a negative correlation (r=-0.25, p<0.001) with education level. There was a statistically significant difference between dental phobics and the remaining groups on the DFS total score. At a cut-off point 55, the sensitivity of the scale was 0.80, specificity 0.80, positive predictive value 0.48, and negative predictive value 0.95. Thirty-nine subjects (21.3%) in the general population had total scores above this cut-off point.
Dental fear is common in clinical and non-clinical settings in Turkey. The good psychometric characteristics of the DFS among Turkish participants supports its cross-cultural validity.

Download full-text


Available from: Vedat Sar,
  • Source
    • "There is considerable variability in the instruments used to determine dental fear and there is no recognised gold standard [27]. Several cut-off points have been applied to the DFS to indicate high dental fear [13] [20] [21] [23] [26] [28] [32] [34] [35]. A cut-off point is a point on a continuous measure that acts as a categorical boundary, ideally providing an intuitive interpretation of scores above and below that point [27] [36]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective. To determine a high fear cut-off point score for the Dental Fear Survey (DFS) using a single-item self-report questionnaire. Methods. The DFS, a 20-item questionnaire assessing fear of dental treatment, was completed by 1,256 participants with a mean age of 22.3 years (SD = 5.1). Another self-report questionnaire was used to collect data on previous dental experiences. A high fear cut-off point score was determined by calculating the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve for the DFS. Descriptive statistics and multinomial logistic regression were calculated; a significance level of p<0.05 was used for all tests. Results. The ROC curve indicated that a DFS score ≥53 corresponds to a sensitivity of 88.9% and a specificity of 92.5%. Most participants (n=895; 71.5%) reported no fear of going to the dentist. There was significant association between DFS score and fear assessed with the question "Are you fearful of going to the dentist?" (p<0.001). Conclusion. A cut-off point of 53 on the DFS total score represents the best compromise between sensitivity and specificity and can be used to predict high dental fear.
    The Scientific World Journal 01/2015; 2015(2). DOI:10.1155/2015/983564 · 1.73 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "According to some authors, however, the lower level of dental anxiety reported by men may be influenced by cultural norms of behaviour which do not allow men to admit fear (Corah et al, 1978), while women are more likely to share their emotional states (Stouthard and Hoogstraten, 1990). There are some reports indicating a negative correlation between the level of education and the level of anxiety assessed by MDAS (Tunc et al, 2005; Firat et al, 2006), but in our study we found no such correlation , similar to other studies (Hakeberg et al, 1992; Humphris et al, 2009; Ofori et al, 2009). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Purpose: Dental anxiety is a common phenomenon influencing the relationship between a patient and a doctor as well as the course of treatment. The aim of the study was to assess the oral health status and hygiene habits among adult patients with respect to their level of dental anxiety. Materials and methods: 117 consecutive adult patients referred to the Department of Conservative Dentistry and Paedodontics of Wroclaw Medical University were included in the study. There were 58 women (49.57%) and 59 men (50.43%). The mean age of the patients was 36.57 ± 16.76 years. The level of dental anxiety was assessed using the Modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS). To evaluate dental health status and oral hygiene, the following indices were used: total number of decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMF/T) as well as surfaces (DMF/S), approximal plaque index (API), oral hygiene index (OHI), debris index (DI) and calculus index (CI). Results: The study revealed that the patients with high MDAS presented a higher calculus index (CI). There was a negative correlation between a high level of dental anxiety measured by MDAS and the number of filled teeth (F/T) as well as the number of filled dental surfaces (F/S). There was no significant correlation between dental anxiety as measured with the MDAS and age, gender or level of education; however, smokers had a significantly higher anxiety level than non-smokers. Conclusions: Dental anxiety has a negative influence on oral health status; the higher the level of dental anxiety, the lower the number of filled teeth and the higher the calculus index. Poor dental and periodontal health may have many somatic as well as psychosocial consequences, both of which lower the quality of life of the patient.
    Oral health & preventive dentistry 03/2014; 12(3). DOI:10.3290/j.ohpd.a31668 · 0.51 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: As increasing attention is paid to disparities in oral health care, cross-cultural means for assessing dental fear, a significant barrier to dental care, are in high demand. There is, however, a surprising shortage of Spanish-language dental fear measures in the literature, despite evidence of dental fear and avoidance in Spanish-speaking populations. The goals of the current series of studies were to develop and validate a Spanish-language version of the Interval Scale of Anxiety Response (ISAR). Magnitude estimation, a technique in which participants are asked to assign a number to indicate the perceived intensity of a stimulus or phrase, was used to compare the Spanish ISAR to the original English ISAR during the development studies. As a result of the 4 initial development studies, modifications were made to both the Spanish and English scales. Once 2 seemingly equivalent scales were established, validation studies were completed with native Spanish- and English-speaking dental patients. The results suggest that both the Spanish and modified English ISAR scales are valid measures of state anxiety associated with dental treatment. Additionally, the results of these studies highlight the importance of thoroughly testing translated measures to ensure they are accurately assessing that which they purport to measure.
    Anesthesia Progress 02/2007; 54(3):100-8. DOI:10.2344/0003-3006(2007)54[100:DAVOTS]2.0.CO;2
Show more