Dental Anxiety Levels in British Servicemen and Women

Research Paper Title

Dental anxiety levels in British servicemen and women.

Background

The objectives of the study were to determine: 1, the level of dental anxiety in British Service personnel; 2 whether there was a difference in dental anxiety levels across the three Services; and, 3, the relationship between number of operational tours and level of dental anxiety.

Methods

Cross sectional questionnaire survey of individuals attending 3 Armed Services dental treatment centres in the UK. The questionnaires were completed between February 2008 and April 2009. 50 patients each from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force, selected consecutively from those attending the centres for treatment. There was a 100% response rate. Dental fear as assessed by the Dental Fear Survey (DFS) and scores on a scale of fear of dental injections.

Results

27% of the Armed Services experienced severe dental anxiety: a level similar to that found in the general population. There was no difference in the level of dental anxiety or fear of dental injections across the three Armed Services. There was no relationship between number of operational tours undertaken and level of dental anxiety.

Conclusions

Dental anxiety is found amongst members of the British Armed Services at levels similar to that in the general population. This represents a challenge for service provision, particularly in operational settings.

Reference

Grimshaw, G.P., Boyle, C.A. & Newton, T. (2012) Dental Anxiety Levels in British Servicemen and Women. Community Dental Health. 29(3), pp.239-242.

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