Purpose: The aim of the present investigation was to determine the degree of anxiety and fear in patients treated at the dental school clinics of the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (Brazil) regarding the different types of treatment offered.
Materials and Methods: The sample was made up of 400 patients from both genders over 18 years of age treated between July and October 2007. Data collection was carried out through the administration of validated questionnaires by a calibrated researcher. The Modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS) and Gatchels Scale were used to evaluate the degree of anxiety and fear among the patients.
Results: There was a 23.0% prevalence of dental anxiety; 9.5% were very anxious, 13.5% were anxious and 77.0% were not anxious. Women were more anxious than men (20.7% and 11.3%, respectively, P = 0.995). The age group that exhibited the highest prevalence of anxiety was 30 to 39 years (29.3%). Regarding fear, 13.5% felt extreme fear; 30.5% felt moderate fear and 56% felt no fear. Schooling was the only significant socioeconomic factor for both anxiety and fear. In the association between fear and anxiety, 38.9% of the patients with extreme fear were classified as very anxious.
Conclusion: The majority of individuals were classified as non-anxious and without fear regarding dental procedures.
Keywords: anxiety, dentistry, fear