Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine the validity and reliability of the Com-DAS (combined dental anxiety scale) as an indicator for childrens perceived dental anxiety and to investigate the effect of age, gender and socio-economic factors on dental anxiety. Materials and Methods: A total of 258 children aged between 8 and 12 years, who had not visited a dentist before, were randomly selected from three different socio-economic status groups. A new scale was developed by combining the C-DAS (Corahs dental anxiety scale) and FIS (facial imaging scale), and named Com-DAS. Original C-DAS was used for validation. Results: There was a high correlation between C-DAS and Com-DAS (r = 0.69). The lowest correlation was in 8-year-old children (r = 0.46), however the mean difference between the scales in this age group was not statistically significant (p > 0.05). The Com-DAS scores showed no statistical difference according to gender, whereas there was a significant difference according to age and socio-economic status (p = 0.001 in both cases). Conclusion: The Com-DAS used in this study may be of use in those communities where the children and their families have limited literacy skills and their understanding of modern dental procedures may be influenced by non-qualified dental practice.
Keywords: children, dental anxiety, socio-economic status