J Korean Acad Oral Health.  2015 Mar;39(1):17-24. 10.11149/jkaoh.2015.39.1.17.

Relationship of dental anxiety with oral health behavior and dental caries experience in adolescents

  • 1Department of Preventive and Public Health Dentistry, College of dentistry, Wonkwang University, Iksan, Korea. smagn@wonkwang.ac.kr


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of dental anxiety with oral health behavior and dental caries experience among adolescents.
The subjects were 469 teenagers (238 middle school students and 231 high school students) in 15 different schools located in 7 regions of Bucheon in Gyeonggi Province, Daejeon, and others. A survey and interviews were conducted to evaluate subjects' oral health behavior and dental anxiety. Dental anxiety was additionally assessed by Corah's Dental Anxiety Scale. The caries experience of subjects was examined.
There were no regional differences in dental anxiety. Girls felt more dental anxiety than boys did. Adolescents who did not receive treatment even when they needed it felt more dental anxiety than those who did receive treatment. There were also statistically significant differences in dental anxiety according to the type of treatment received. Adolescents who received extraction treatment or underwent oral surgery experienced more dental anxiety than those who received orthodontic or aesthetic treatment. Those who had a toothache or who experienced gingival bleeding felt more dental anxiety than those who did not have those conditions. Subjects with poor perceived oral health also had more dental anxiety. The number of decayed teeth and filled teeth was significantly correlated with dental anxiety.
In adolescents, dental anxiety is related to their oral health behavior, the type of conditions they present with, the treatment received, and dental caries experience. Therefore, the kind of systematic programs that could relieve adolescents of dental anxiety should be prepared.


Behavior; Dental anxiety; DMF index; Students
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