Author(s): Weiner AA, Stark PC, Lasalvia J, Navidomskis M, Kugel G
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Abstract Questionnaires that focus on the fear of dental treatment typically include a narrow list of previous treatment-related factors. By omitting items concerned with psychologic, emotional, and interpersonal traits that impact treatment, practitioners often fail to gain additional valuable information on related anxiety issues. This study was undertaken to identify previously unrecognized or poorly discussed sources of fear and anxiety in patients seeking esthetic dental treatment. The Esthetic Clinic at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine recruited 62 participants who were asked to score their level of anxieties and concerns based on 24 different items on a 0 to 5 Likert scale. In addition, age, gender, and type of procedure in consideration were the only other variables recorded. The item that elicited the highest level of anxiety was "not feeling happy with my new smile." Thirty-eight respondents (61.3\%) said they feel "markedly anxious"or "severely anxious" or answered "avoid completely." Concerns "that the outcome might look false and unnatural" or "that the dentist might not redo it if I am not satisfied with the outcome" both received 37 out of 62 (59.7\%) similar responses. These results suggest obstacles to treatment exist not only in areas typically investigated but also in factors rarely discussed during the patient-practitioner encounter. The practitioner needs to consider a broader range of issues when addressing the patient's concerns.
This article was published in Compend Contin Educ Dent
and referenced in Dentistry