Medicine in evolution








- Abstract -

Background: Despite late discoveries related to pain control and communication paths, fear and anxiety towards dental treatment are still important factors in dental treatment. Fear of dentists is common and a potentially distressing problem, both for the public and for the dental practitioners. Avoiding the dentist because of fear can have serious ramifications in terms of dental health and overall well-being.

Aim and objectives: The purpose of this study is to investigate the valences of the assessment methods regarding anxiety and fear towards dental treatment.
Methods: A total of 28 patients with high anxiety scores from a private practice were included. They were divided in three groups: the patients from the first group were given premedication before the dental procedure, the second group was administered premedication and a brief introduction about the procedure and the third group was administered premedication and extensive explanations about the procedure as well as psychological intervention .The STAI X1 and STAI X2, DFS and DAS scales were used to evaluate the level of anxiety pre and post intervention.

Results: The levels of general and dental anxiety were considerably lower in group 3 when premedication combined with extensive explanations and psychological intervention was given before the dental treatment. The results indicated that patients with high anxiety level tend to present high trait anxiety, but high trait anxiety seems not to predispose to high dental anxiety.

Conclusions and clinical implications: The incidence of dental fear may be less if clinicians use both psychological and medical methods to control anxiety in dental treatment.

Key words: anxiety towards dental treatment, pain control, oral sedation


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