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Acta Odontol Scand. 1992 Feb;50(1):43-9.

Assessment of dental fear. A comparison of two psychometric instruments.

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Department of Endodontology and Oral Diagnosis, Faculty of Odontology, University of Göteborg, Sweden.


To analyze further dental fear and its presentation in dental patients, two psychometric instruments were distributed among 50 patients attending a dental emergency clinic (EMC) and 44 patients applying for treatment at a specialized dental fear clinic (FEC). The Dental Fear Survey (DFS) was compared with the Corah Dental Anxiety Scale (DAS). After separating the EMC patients into high- and low-fear individuals in accordance with DAS scores, analysis showed that DFS values also clearly distinguished between these groups and between the FEC group and EMC groups. The dental fear levels were in correspondence with previous results, and the correlation between the DAS and the DFS was high (r = 0.92). In contrast to the DFS avoidance and arousal dimensions, the difference between the mean item scores on the dental situation dimension was not significantly different between high-fear EMC and FEC individuals. This indicated that the evaluation and appraisal of the dental situation among high-fear EMC and FEC patients may have been corresponding, whereas the behavioral and physiologic effects were different. Thus, in spite of this similar appraisal of the dental situation, FEC patients were interpreted as showing a more phobic behavior, and this was better captured in the DFS than in the DAS.

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