Dental Anxiety, Fear and Anxiety of Performing Dental Treatments among Dental Students during Clinical Studies

Sigalit Blumer*, Benjamin Peretz, Native Yukler, Sagit Nissan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Dental student's dental anxiety may negatively affect patient's attitude towards dental treatment. We evaluated dental anxiety among dental students in different clinical stage of their studies. We assessed the student's anxiety prior to treating patients. Study design: A cross-sectional study. Fourth to sixth-year dental students completed questionnaires containing: 1) Dental Anxiety Scale (DAS); 2) Dental Fear Survey (DFS); and 3) visual analogue scale questions relating to the student's anxiety when performing dental treatments in children and adults. Results: 124 dental students completed the questionnaires (mean age, 26.4±3.1 years, 59.7% women). Average DAS in the study population was 7.55±2.15 with similar scores observed across the years. Average DFS score was highest among fourth-year students (1.62±0.65) and lowest among sixth year students (1.36±0.32). DFS scores decreased as the students progressed through the clinical years (p=0.059). The students' average anxiety scores prior to treating children were significantly higher than the anxiety scores prior to treating adults (3.82±2.42 vs. 2.67±1.9, p<0.001). Fifth-year students had significantly higher anxiety scores prior to treating children and adults compared to fourth and sixth-year students. Conclusion: Dental anxiety among dental students is relatively low and decreases gradually as they progress through the clinical years. Anxiety prior to treating patients, particularly children, is at its highest just before starting to treat patients for the first time. As dental students are future healthcare providers, it is important that they learn techniques to help them manage their own dental anxiety and fear as well as deal with anxiety related to treating patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-411
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - 31 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Dental students
  • dental anxiety
  • dental fear
  • pediatric patients


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