Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Dent Educ. 2004 Nov;68(11):1172-7.

Strategies for combating dental anxiety.

Author information

1
University of Maryland Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, USA.

Abstract

Dental anxiety and subsequent avoidance of dental care and deterioration of oral health pose a significant problem for the dental profession. In an attempt to elucidate preferences of anxious dental patients, we gathered survey data from 121 persons at a small, private liberal arts college in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Half of the respondents experienced dental anxiety, and most of these (66 percent) attributed anxiety to fear of anticipated pain. The majority of anxious patients preferred a dentist to be friendly (93 percent), talkative (82 percent), and to have an office with adorned walls (89 percent) and a slightly cool temperature (63 percent). Patients who identified themselves as anxious also indicated that music in the background (89 percent) and magazines and books in the dental office (75 percent) were helpful. Anxious patients were more likely than non-anxious patients to prefer a male dentist (77 percent versus 52 percent). This finding was especially marked among anxious male respondents, 93 percent of whom preferred a male dentist compared to 73 percent of anxious female respondents. These survey data may assist dental professionals in understanding and combating patients' dental anxiety, in order to increase the frequency of dental visits and to prompt a corresponding restoration or maintenance of oral health.

PMID:
15520236
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center