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Anesth Prog. 1989 Nov-Dec;36(6):258-64.

Common fears and their relationship to dental fear and utilization of the dentist.


Common fears were studied by household telephone interviews and mail survey in Seattle, Washington, to determine their relationship to dental fear and to utilization of the dentist. Dental fear was either the first or second most common fear, with a prevalence estimated between 183 and 226 persons per 1000 population. Dental fear was associated with fears of heights, flying, and enclosures. Respondents with multiple common fears other than fear of dentistry were more likely to delay or cancel dental appointments, report a longer period since their last visit to the dentist, and report poorer oral health and less satisfaction with oral appearance. Over 22 percent of the dentally fearful group reported two or more accompanying common fears.

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