Background: Dental anxiety/fear in children is a main reason for the problems in their behavior management and avoiding dental care. This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence and level of dental anxiety/fear in Iranian children and adolescents as well as its related factors.
Methods: 330 children aged 7-14 participated in this study and answered the questionnaire of Children’s Fear Schedule-Dental Subscale (CFSS-DS). Data were analyzed using Chi-square and Split-half tests.
Results: Dental anxiety prevalence was 20.6% in 7-11 year-olds and 11% in 12-14 year-olds (P=0.001). This value was 17.6% in girls and 14% in boys (P=0.01). Mean of the anxiety score was 29.3 - 7.6 in boys and 31.4 - 7.6 in girls (P=0.015). Prevalence of dental anxiety was 19.7% in the participants without previous dental experience and 8.6% in those with this experience (P=0.001). The mean anxiety score was 31.3 - 7.6 in children without previous dental experience and 28.6 - 7.3 in those with previous experience (P=0.002). The concomitant factors significantly related to high dental anxiety were injection and choking sensation.
Conclusions: Dental anxiety is more in girls and children without previous dental experience, and it decreases with increasing age. Injection and choking sensation are related to high dental anxiety