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