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.”