2022: Interpretation of Ambiguous Dental Scenarios by Severity of Dental Anxiety

Published 05/17/2022

Dental anxiety poses a significant barrier to adequate oral health care for 5-15% of adults, explained CareQuest Institute Science Writer Lisa Heaton in a presentation on dental anxiety. Heaton provided results from a recent study analyzing how dentally anxious individuals compare to those with lower dental anxiety when interpreting ambiguous dental scenarios.

The study concluded:

  • Dentally anxious respondents used words related to anxiety as a greater proportion of their overall words. Less anxious individuals more often describe concerns about the cost of treatment.
  • While dentally anxious individuals were more likely to use terms like “worried” and “scared,” less anxious individuals were more likely to use words like “cost” and “money.”
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National Oral Health Conference 2022 (67.75 KB) 67.75 KB