Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(12), 4676-4687; doi:10.3390/ijerph9124676
Article

Association between Childhood Dental Experiences and Dental Fear among Dental, Psychology and Mathematics Undergraduates in Brazil

1 Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Pampulha Campus, Avenida Presidente Antônio Carlos, 6627, Belo Horizonte-MG, 31270-901, Brazil 2 Department of Dentistry, School of Biological and Health Sciences, Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri, Rua da Glória, 187, Diamantina-MG, 39100-000, Brazil
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 September 2012; in revised form: 11 December 2012 / Accepted: 11 December 2012 / Published: 17 December 2012
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Abstract: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the association between childhood dental experiences and dental fear in adulthood among dentistry, psychology and mathematics undergraduate students. A cross-sectional study of 1,256 students from the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, was performed. Students responded to the Brazilian version of the Dental Fear Survey (DFS) and a questionnaire regarding previous dental experiences. Both the DFS and the questionnaire were self-administered. Association was tested using descriptive, bivariate and multivariate linear regression analysis, with a 5% significance level. Dentistry undergraduates reported lower scores than psychology (p < 0.001) and mathematics undergraduates (p < 0.05) for all three dimensions of the DFS. Negative dental experiences in childhood was associated with dimensions of Avoidance (B = 2.70, p < 0.001), Physiological arousal (B = 1.42, p < 0.001) and Fears of specific stimuli/situations (B = 3.44, p < 0.001). The reason for first visit to dentist was associated with dimensions of Physiological arousal (B = 0.76, p < 0.01) and Fears of specific stimuli/situations (B = 1.29, p < 0.01). Dentists should be encouraged to evaluate the dental fear of their patients before treatment. The DFS has been found to be an effective instrument for this purpose.
Keywords: dental fear; dental phobias; epidemiology; pediatric dentistry; questionnaires; behavior; undergraduate student

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MDPI and ACS Style

Oliveira, M.A.; Bendo, C.B.; Ferreira, M.C.; Paiva, S.M.; Vale, M.P.; Serra-Negra, J.M. Association between Childhood Dental Experiences and Dental Fear among Dental, Psychology and Mathematics Undergraduates in Brazil. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9, 4676-4687.

AMA Style

Oliveira MA, Bendo CB, Ferreira MC, Paiva SM, Vale MP, Serra-Negra JM. Association between Childhood Dental Experiences and Dental Fear among Dental, Psychology and Mathematics Undergraduates in Brazil. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2012; 9(12):4676-4687.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Oliveira, Maurício A.; Bendo, Cristiane B.; Ferreira, Meire C.; Paiva, Saul M.; Vale, Miriam P.; Serra-Negra, Júnia M. 2012. "Association between Childhood Dental Experiences and Dental Fear among Dental, Psychology and Mathematics Undergraduates in Brazil." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 9, no. 12: 4676-4687.

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