Purpose: To assess the levels of dental anxiety among patients anticipating dental treatments in dental clinics/hospitals of Ranga Reddy district.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among a representative sample of 1200 subjects (at least 18 years old) in dental clinics/hospitals which were selected from a list obtained through systematic random sampling. The data were collected using a pre-tested and calibrated questionnaire consisting of the Modified Corah Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS) to assess anxiety levels.
Results: The majority (52.4%) of subjects showed a low level of anxiety. Females (11.44 ± 4.41) were found to have higher mean MDAS scores than males, and the highest mean MDAS scores were found among 18- to 34-year-olds (11.28 ± 4.67) (P < 0.05). Significant differences were found among subjects anticipating different treatments, with higher MDAS scores for extraction (11.25 ± 5.4), followed by examination, root canal treatment, gum surgery, scaling, restoration and others, e.g. orthodontic treatment, restoration with crowns, bridges and dentures (7.79 ± 3.80). The highest mean MDAS scores were found among subjects who were apprehensive due to past difficult experience in dental treatments, followed by drill and injection, with the lowest scores among subjects indicating other reasons (7.82 ± 3.84).
Conclusion: The present data show that anxiety levels are higher in patients who have to undergo extractions than those who must be fitted with dentures. Thus, dental health care providers should pay more attention to patients anxiety levels associated with different types of treatment.
Keywords: dental anxiety, dental treatments, modified dental anxiety scale