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Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2007 Dec;35(6):421-8.

Gender differences in reported dental fear and fear of dental pain.

Author information

1
Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery & Diagnostic Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610-0416, USA. mwheft@ufl.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Gender differences in dental fear have been of increasing interest among clinicians and researchers. The objectives of this study were to assess: (i) gender differences in reports of global dental fear, global fear of dental pain, and specific fear of dental pain; (ii) how the wording of questions about specific fear of dental pain influences a subjective report, and (iii) the interactions between gender differences and wording effects in the reports of specific fear of dental pain.

METHODS:

A telephonic survey of 504 adult Floridians was conducted in 2004. Data collected included six measures of specific fear of dental pain, one measure of global fear of dental pain, one measure of global dental fear, and demographic information.

RESULTS:

Women were more likely to report global dental fear, global fear of dental pain, and specific fear of dental pain than men, and both women and men were more likely to report 'dread' of dental pain than 'fear' of dental pain.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings suggest that: (i) there are gender differences in reports of dental fear and fear of dental pain; and (ii) both men and women are more willing to express their fearful feelings regarding dentistry using a more socially acceptable term.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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