Dental fear affects adolescent perception of interaction with dental staff. Eur J Oral Sci 2014; 00: 000–000. © 2014 Eur J Oral Sci, , , , , , , , , .
The main purpose of this study was to explore whether subjective
perception of interaction with dental staff is associated with dental
fear in a population-based sample of 18-yr-old adolescents (n = 773).
The interaction was measured using the Patient Dental Staff Interaction
Questionnaire (PDSIQ), validated with exploratory and confirmatory
factor analyses, which yielded the factors of ‘kind atmosphere and
mutual communication’, ‘roughness’, ‘insecurity’, ‘trust and safety’,
and ‘shame and guilt’. Dental fear was measured using the Modified
Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS). Gender and sense of coherence (SOC) were
included as potential confounding variables. Adolescents with high
dental fear more often perceived their interaction with dental staff
negatively and more often felt insecure than others. This difference
persisted after adjustment for gender and SOC. In conclusion,
adolescents with high dental fear may perceive their interaction with
dental staff more positively if the staff succeed in creating a
positive, trusting, approving, and supportive atmosphere with kindness,
calmness, and patience. The communication and interaction skills of
dental staff may play a particularly important role when encountering
highly fearful dental patients.