Dental anxiety among adults in Turkey

Firat D., Tunc E., Sar V.

Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice, vol.7, no.3, pp.75-82, 2006 (Scopus) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 7 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Doi Number: 10.5005/jcdp-7-3-75
  • Journal Name: Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.75-82
  • Keywords: Behavioral science, Dental fear survey, Turkish population
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Aim: This aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of dental anxiety and related factors in a Turkish population. Methods and Materials: The Turkish translation of the Dental Fear Scale (DFS) and the Modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS) were administered to 115 dental patients consisting of 21 subjects who had dental phobia and of 94 patients who did not. The scales were also administered to a non-clinical general population (N=183). Results: The Turkish version of the DFS was internally consistent and reproducible. The scale had strong correlations (r=0.80, p<0.001) with the MDAS. Female participants scored higher (45.2±18.1) on the scale than men (38.2±15.7). The DFS had a negative correlation (r=-0.25, p<0.001) with education level. There was a statistically significant difference between dental phobics and the remaining groups on the DFS total score. At a cut-off point 55, the sensitivity of the scale was 0.80, specificity 0.80, positive predictive value 0.48, and negative predictive value 0.95. Thirty-nine subjects (21.3%) in the general population had total scores above this cut-off point. Conclusion: Dental fear is common in clinical and non-clinical settings in Turkey. The good psychometric characteristics of the DFS among Turkish participants supports its cross-cultural validity.