Dental Anxiety Stress and Depression: A Cross-Sectional Questionnaire-based Study to Assess the Various Trigger Factors Which May Lead to Dental Anxiety
Background: This study investigated the experiences of different patients visiting a dental office. The study noted the different types of stimuli and triggering factors causing dental anxiety. The sample consists of individuals of different ages, sex, occupation, and anxiety levels were examined by the procedure undergone by the patients.
Methods: A total of 220 patients participated in the study (100 Females and 120 Males). The study constituted a series of questions in a questionnaire form which was filled out during Pre-treatment and Post-treatment.
The DASS 21 study was included in the questionnaire to examine the levels of Anxiety, Depression, etc. Questions were also asked about factors that may increase (sound of drill and suction) or decrease (counselling by the doctor) the level of dental phobia.
Results: Maximum patients experienced dental anxiety before treatment plans which include RCT, Tooth Extraction, Follow-ups, etc. 52.2% of the sample experienced mild anxiety Pre-treatment. The most common reason for the elevated level of anxiety include Fear of pain, Injections, the sound of drill and suction, etc. (Aggravating factor)
The relieving factors include counselling by the doctors. A maximum percentage of the sample claim to have commenced with dental anxiety due to unknown reasons.
The physical manifestations which were experienced by the patients include Headache, Palpitations, Sweating, etc.
Conclusion: Maximum percentage of the sample experienced mild to moderate levels of dental anxiety. Various reasons for dental anxiety were given by the patients which most commonly include, Fear of pain. The step which should be undertaken to relieve dental anxiety, as suggested by the patients includes counselling by the doctors.
From the study thus conducted, it is evident that dental anxiety is prevalent amongst maximum patients visiting a dental office for the first time or even regularly. Some of the factors which should be considered to reduce dental anxiety amongst patients and also build healthy dentist-patient relations include:
Dental office environment, Communication skills, Relaxation techniques, Distraction, Masking, sounds, Counselling by the doctors.
It is very necessary to reduce the level of dental anxiety so as to build a healthy dentist-patient relationship. All the necessary steps must be undertaken to prevent/minimize dental anxiety.
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