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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 60-64

Psycho-social correlates of dental anxiety and its association with caries experience in 12-16-year-old school going children in Southern India


1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, K M Shah Dental College and Hospital, Sumandeep Vidyapeeth (An Institution Deemed to be University), Vadodara, Gujarat, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka, India
3 Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
4 Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry, K M Shah Dental College and Hospital, Sumandeep Vidyapeeth (An Institution Deemed to be University), Vadodara, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Sweta Singh
Department of Public Health Dentistry, K M Shah Dental College and Hospital, Sumandeep Vidyapeeth (An Institution Deemed to be University), Vadodara - 391 760, Gujarat
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/aihb.aihb_85_21

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Introduction: Dental anxiety causes a decrease in population addressability to the dentist with antagonistic consequences for long-term oral health. Assessment of behavioural factors that correlate with dental anxiety is important for the accurate evaluation of dental fear. Its diagnosis in childhood is important for establishing therapeutic management strategies to reduce anxiety and promote oral health. Materials and Methods: A sample of 289 children of ninth and tenth grades from two public and two private schools of Udupi town was drawn. Two-stage sampling was used for the enrolment of students. A pre-tested self-administered questionnaire was used for the collection of data on psychological aspects, socioeconomic background and health behaviours. Dental anxiety was assessed using a translated version of the modified dental anxiety scale (MDAS). Oral examination was done for the assessment of dental caries using the decayed, missing, filled teeth index. Results: Students from public schools showed a significantly high prevalence of dental anxiety and also higher scores. Dental phobia was significantly more in children from public schools. Female gender, lesser brushing frequency, fewer previous dental visits and lower socioeconomic status were significantly associated with higher dental anxiety levels. In addition, the caries experience was significantly higher in children from public schools. Conclusion: Socioeconomic background and social environment in the school play an important role in overcoming dental anxiety and practising healthy behaviour and therefore should be considered to break the vicious cycle of dental anxiety and poor dental health.


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