Dental anxiety among young Israeli male adults as related to treatment received during childhood

Liran Levin, Ilana Eli, Malka Ashkenazi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: To evaluate dental fear and anxiety among young male adults treated during childhood either by a certified pediatric dentist or a general dental practitioner. Methods: A structured questionnaire that included information regarding issues related to dental fear and anxiety (Intake Interview Questionnaire and the Dental Anxiety Scale) was completed by 497 young male army recruits (18 years old). Results: During childhood, 59 (11.9%) of the participants were treated on a regular basis by a certified pediatric dentist and 344 (69.2%) by a general dental practitioner. Sporadic care (not regular care) by general dental practitioners was given to 94 participants (18.9%). Average level of dental anxiety among participants treated by certified pediatric dentists was 7.9 compared to 8.2 (general dentists) and 8.7 (sporadic care by general dentists). There were no significant differences between the groups. However, significant differences were found in the prevalence of high dental anxiety between participants treated by a regular dentist in childhood and those treated sporadically (15.4% vs. 23.4%, respectively). Negative emotions were common. Environmental etiologic factors were infrequently reported. Conclusions: The general level of dental anxiety among young Israeli males was normal. No relation was found between level of dental anxiety and the professional education of the treating dentist in childhood. Regular dental care in childhood has more effect on preventing the development of high dental anxiety than the professional education of the early caregiver.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-151
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Public Health Dentistry
Volume66
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2006

Keywords

  • Dental anxiety
  • Dental fear
  • Pediatric dentistry
  • Professional education

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