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.

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    • "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]. "
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    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.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · The Scientific World Journal
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    • "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). "
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    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.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Oral health & preventive dentistry
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    • "The BDI and BAI inventories are designed to measure patients' current symptom severity of depression and anxiety but do not consider their histories. In various studies, the reliability and validity of Turkish versions of these instruments have been examined and found appropriate for Turkish populations (Engin et al., 2008; Firat et al., 2006; Ilguy et al., 2005; Tunc et al., 2005). Means and standard deviations were calculate. "
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the relationship between dental anxiety, general anxiety and depression levels in patients attending a university hospital dental clinic in Turkey. A cross sectional study. 250 first visit patients seeking dental treatment. Modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) were used to assess the dental anxiety, general anxiety and depression level in these patients. The mean MDAS, BAI, and BDI scores were 10.5, 9.4, and 10.7, respectively. The prevalence of dental anxiety was found to be 20.8% (52/250) at the cut-off point > or = 15 and 6.8% (17/250) at the cut-off point > or = 19 according to MDAS score evaluation. MDAS and BAI scores were significantly higher in women (p < 0.001 and p < 0.01, respectively). BDI and BAI scores were significantly higher in MDAS cut-off point of 15 (p < 0.05 and p < 0.001, respectively). When the cut-off point was taken as 19, age and BAI scores were significantly higher in MDAS > or = 19 (p < 0.05, p < 0.001 and p = 0.477, respectively) but there was no association with BDI. There was significant correlation between MDAS scores and age, BDI and BAI mean scores (r = - 0.166, p < 0.01; r = 0.148, p < 0.05; r = 0.273, p < 0.01 respectively). Dental anxiety was positively correlated with patients' general anxiety level and was higher in women and at younger age.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · Community dental health
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