Home Archive Vol.40, No.4, 2014 Dental Anxiety and its Association with Behavioral Factors in Children

Dental Anxiety and its Association with Behavioral Factors in Children

SANDA MIHAELA POPESCU(1), IONELA TEODORA DASCĂLU(2), MONICA SCRIECIU(3), VERONICA MERCUŢ(3), IREN MORARU(4), MIHAELA JANA ŢUCULINĂ(4)

(1)Department of Oral Rehabilitation, Faculty of Dental Medicine, UMF Craiova, Craiova, (2)Department of Orthodontics, Faculty of Dental Medicine, UMF Craiova, Craiova, (3)Department of Prosthetic Dentistry, Faculty of Dental Medicine, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Craiova, (4)Department of Odontotherapy, Faculty of Dental Medicine, UMF Craiova, Craiova

    Abstract: Background: Dental anxiety is a condition that causes a decrease in population addressability to the dentist with adverse consequences for long-term oral health. Assessment of behavioral factors that correlate with dental anxiety is important for accurate evaluation of dental fear. Its diagnosis in childhood is important for establishing therapeutic management strategies to reduce anxiety and promote oral health. Objective: To determine the prevalence of dental anxiety in a group of Romanian schoolchildren, and assess its correlation with behavioral factors. Methods: This cross-sectional survey included a number of 650 schoolchildren attending public schools, randomly chosen. Data were collected from September 2013 to October 2013. 485 children aged 6–12 years responded the questionnaires and were included in the study (248 female, 237 male). Each subject was asked to independently complete a questionnaire including Dental Anxiety Scale (DAS) and other questions about children behavior towards dental health education and practice. Children having a score of 13 and above were included in the anxious group while those scoring under 13 were placed in the non anxious group. The data collected was processed and analyzed using the SPSS statistical software. Results: The overall prevalence of dental anxiety was 22.68% amongst subjects included in the study. No significant differences in dental anxiety scores between boys and girls were found in this study. Dental anxiety scores decreased with increasing age. Dental anxiety correlated positively with chewing gum use and sweet consumption frequency and negatively with age and dental health education. Conclusions: Prevalence of dental anxiety in the 6–12 year old children of this study was 22.68%. Factors like chewing gum use, sweet consumption frequency, age and dental health education were correlated with dental anxiety.
    Keywords: dental anxiety, prevalence, dental health education, sweet consumption, dental anxiety scale, statistical analysis.

DOI 10.12865/CHSJ.40.04.05


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Volume 40 Issue 4 2014