Dental anxiety among young adolescent patients in Israel

Benjamin Peretz*, Jacob Efrat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aim. To evaluate adolescents' dental anxiety using self-reported questionnaires previously given to adults. Sample and method. One hundred and four patients (42 boys, 62 girls) aged 12-18 years who attended their paediatric dentist completed a questionnaire in the waiting room. The survey consisted of three sections: sociodemographic information for the children, a dental anxiety scale (DAS), and a dental fear survey (DFS). Results. The scores of the girls were higher than the boys in every DAS item as well as in the total score. Girls showed higher DFS scores than boys in most items. The most anxiety-provoking stimuli were feeling and seeing the needle. In the most anxiety provoking stimuli, among the boys who reported higher DFS scores (categories 3, 4, 5), the DAS scores were higher than the scores of the girls. As the stimulus became less anxiety-provoking, such as sitting in the dental chair, the DAS scores of the girls in these categories were higher than boys. Significantly more girls' responses were in categories 3, 4 and 5 in the items dealing with the needle and the drill, while no significant difference was observed among the boys and girls regarding sitting in the dental chair. Conclusions. It is concluded that individual personality traits may be the final factor to indicate those who will eventually develop higher dental anxiety, and those who will not. The difference could be also in the conditioning process and learned responses (male and female education) that these individuals have experienced in life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-132
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Paediatric Dentistry
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2000
Externally publishedYes

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