Title: 0790 - Oral Health and Dental Anxiety: A Pilot Study


Joshua White, Marquette University School of Dentistry
Jeffrey Garcia, Marquette University School of Dentistry
Kinan Al-Bitar (Presenter)
Marquette University School of Dentistry

Paul Luepke, Marquette University School of Dentistry
Arndt Guentsch, Marquette University School of Dentistry


Objectives: To answer the question, if dental anxiety influences dental and periodontal health.

Methods: Survey data were collected in an U.S. clinical setting from n=66 adults (44% females, average age 50 years) in a cross-sectional pilot study. Dental anxiety was measured with the modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS, score 1-5, the greater the score, the greater the anxiety). The DMFT index, the periodontal status as well as health literacy scores (dental and medical health literacy) were recorded and statistically analyzed.

Results: Dental anxiety was higher in women than in men (60% vs 40%). Subjects with high MDAS value visited a dentist less frequently (p=0.001), had more decayed (DT 7.8±3.26 vs 3.6±4.3; p=0.03), and more missing teeth (MT 6.1±4.3 vs 2.7±3.6; p=0.03) but less filled teeth than subjects without dental anxiety (FT 4.5±3.6 vs 7.3±4.8; p=0.04). The prevalence of periodontal disease was tendentially higher in patients with dental anxiety (70% vs 58%; n.s.). There was a significant discrepancy between adequate dental (DHL) vs medical health literacy (MHL), independent from the MDAS value. While only 13.6 % of all subjects demonstrated adequate DHL, 84.4% showed adequate MHL.

Conclusions: Patients with dental anxiety had significantly more caries experience and tendentially more periodontal disease. Therefore, dental anxiety seems to have a negative effect on dental and periodontal health.

Student Presenter

Disclosure Statement:
The submitter must disclose the names of the organizations with which any author have a relationship, the nature of the relationship, and the clinical or research area involved. The following is submitted: NONE

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