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Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2003 Apr;31(2):116-21.

Are there differences in oral health and oral health behavior between individuals with high and low dental fear?

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TNO, Prevention and Health, Division of Child Health, Leiden, The Netherlands.


Epidemiological studies of the relationship between dental fear, use of dental services, and oral health in different age groups in a common population are scarce. Dental fear and its relationships are usually described in individuals with high dental fear only. The purposes of this study were to describe the prevalence of dental fear in the Norwegian adult population according to age, and to explore differences in oral health, oral hygiene, and visiting habits between individuals with high and low dental fear. For the present study, data from the Tr√łndelag-94 study were used. The prevalence of dental fear in our study population of adults in Tr√łndelag, Norway was 6.6%. There was a tendency for individuals with high dental fear to engage in avoidance behavior more frequently than the low dental fear group. Individuals with high dental fear had a statistically significantly higher number of decayed surfaces (DS), decayed teeth, (DT) and missing teeth (MT) but a statistically significantly lower number of filled surfaces (FS), filled teeth (FT), functional surfaces (FSS), and functional teeth (FST). There were no differences in DMFS and DMFT between the groups of high and low dental fear. Since one of the superior aims of the dental profession is to help a patient to achieve a high number of functional teeth throughout life, consequently detecting and treating dental fear should therefore be an important aspect of dental processionals' work.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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