Background: Dental anxiety among children and adolescence is correlated with a sequence of uncooperative or troubling behaviors. The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence and factors affecting dental anxiety among adolescent patients seeking dental treatment by undergraduate dental students in the college of dentistry, Riyadh Elm University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Materials and Methods: A convenient sampling methodology was employed to select 777 adolescent patients seeking care from undergraduate dental students. A structured, close-ended Arabic version of the modified dental anxiety scale was self-reported by the patients in the waiting area of the dental clinics. Descriptive statistics, Mann-Whitney, and Kruskal-Wallis tests were applied to compare the dental anxiety scores between groups.
Results: The age of the participant ranged from 13-19 years. The majority of the study participants were in the moderate (39.4%) category of dental anxiety, followed by mild (32.6%), severe (14.4%), and high (13.6%). Female patients showed a significantly higher score on the Modified Dental Anxiety Scale compared to the males (13.46±0.21 vs. 10.98±0.27, p<0.001). Patients having university education showed a higher mean score (13.29±0.32), followed by middle school (12.75±.36), high school (12.11 ±.25), and elementary school (11.29±1.72). However, the educational level did not show any significant effect on dental anxiety (p=0.053).
Conclusion: The majority of adolescent patients treated by dental students showed moderate degrees of dental anxiety. However, dental phobia was found in 14.4% of adolescents. Females demonstrated a higher degree of dental anxiety than males. The level of education did not display any impact on dental anxiety among adolescents in this study.