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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 56-63

Can the Fear of the Chair be Worsened by Dental Appointments?

1 Department of Preventive Dentistry, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
2 Department of Preventive Dentistry, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Afolabi Oyapero
Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Ikeja, Lagos State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/denthyp.denthyp_39_18

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Introduction: Limitations in dental access and challenges associated with service delivery often necessitates the usage of an appointment system in patient care. This research aimed to determine the association between levels of dental anxiety in dental patients and dental treatment appointment at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH). Materials and Methods: A descriptive study at a tertiary hospital in Lagos State. A systematic sampling method was used to enlist 149 study patients in four clinical dental departments in LASUTH, whereas sociodemographic, clinical history, and anxiety-related data were collected using a structured interviewer-administered questionnaire. Visual analog scale (VAS) was used to assess inconvenience, whereas the Modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS) was used for anxiety assessment. Data entry and analysis was performed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 20, P value of <0.05 was considered significant. Results: The mean age of the respondents was 25.3 ± 6.8; 53% had never had a dental visit and majority felt inconvenient by the length of dental appointment (62.7%; mean VAS = 5.95 ± 2.72); higher levels of inconvenience was significantly associated with levels of anxiety (MDAS—13.96 ± 4.8; P = 0.010). At baseline, age group ≤20 years (MDAS—15.21 ± 4.0; P = 0.026), female gender (MDAS—14.44 ± 4.8; P = 0.042), and primary level of education (MDAS—0.029; P = 15.25 ± 4.7) were significantly associated with high levels of anxiety. At baseline, 14.8% had high dental anxiety (MDAS scores of ≥19), and this increased to 18.1% on the treatment appointment day. Conclusion: Dental appointments appear to be associated with impact on anxiety levels. MDAS can be used as a screening tool to identify anxious patients to determine which treatment approach to adopt and possibly give shorter appointments.

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