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Br Dent J. 2000 Oct 14;189(7):385-90.

The impact of dental anxiety on daily living.

Author information

1
Community Dental Service, Riverside NHS Trust.

Abstract

AIM:

To explore the impact of dental anxiety on daily living.

METHOD:

Twenty people attending a dental sedation clinic completed the Modified Dental Anxiety Scale, and were interviewed privately using a reflexive, in-depth technique. All interviews were audio-tape recorded and transcribed. The transcripts were analysed to identify the impact of dental anxiety upon the participants' daily lives. Twenty-five per cent of the qualitative data was reviewed by an independent researcher to ensure the reliability of the analysis.

RESULTS:

The mean age of participants was 41 years (range 23 to 60). The mean MDAS score was 21.5 (range 14 to 25). Five main impacts of dental anxiety were identified: physiological; cognitive; behavioural; health; and social. Subsumed under these broad categories were: the fright response; a vast array of negative thoughts, feelings and fears; avoidance behaviour and behaviours related to eating, oral hygiene, and self-medication; and other manifestations of anxiety in the dental environment including muscular tension, crying and aggression were all identified. Dental anxiety was also found to disturb sleep and to have a profound affect socially, interfering with work and personal relationships.

CONCLUSION:

The impact that dental anxiety can have on people's lives is wide-ranging and dynamic.

PMID:
11081950
DOI:
10.1038/sj.bdj.4800777
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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