Dental Anxiety and Its Behavioral Consequences in a Sample of Saudi Adults
estimate the prevalence of dental phobia in a sample of Saudis in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and 2) To identify behavioral consequences of moderate or high dental anxiety in Saudi adults. Materials and Methods: Multistage cluster random sampling was employed to locate eleven public sampling sites, which included shopping malls, primary care centers, and mosques. A sample of 378 residents of Riyadh City was selected. We used Arabic Modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS) to assess dental anxiety. Results: The mean age was 32.5 (± SD 10.1 years) and 44.2% were females. The prevalence of moderate to high dental anxiety (MDAS ≥ 13) was reported in 24.5% of subjects, while high dental anxiety (i.e., dental phobia; MDAS ≥ 19) was present in 5.4% of subjects. The prevalence of moderate or high dental anxiety tends to be higher in females (31.9% vs 18.8%, P=0.003), in participants with infrequent dental visits (41.7% vs. 19.7%, P=0.001), in participants who were treated in private clinics (27.7% vs 18%, P=0.042), and in participants with a history of delaying dental treatment (64.1% vs 11.5%, P=0.001). According to logistic regression, the odds of moderate or high dental anxiety were 17.9 times higher in participants with a history of delaying dental treatment. Conclusion: Our data showed 5.4% had dental phobia and 24.5% had moderate or high dental anxiety. Being female, having infrequent dental visits, using private clinics, having a history of delaying dental treatment, and having a history of canceling dental treatment were the most common behavioral consequences of dental anxiety.