Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Angela Bermudez-Millan, Geraldine Weinstein, Jane Ungemack

Field of Study

Public Health


Master of Public Health

Open Access

Open Access


Visiting the dentist may generate anxiety for many individuals. Some suffer from severe dental anxiety, and consequently avoid dental appointments. Despite the advances made in modern dentistry, anxiety about dental treatments remain prevalent. Health care professionals should attempt to identify these individuals to provide better care and improve access to dental care. Objectives: (a) examine the prevalence of dental anxiety and its association with the type of dental care sought (routine care/ emergency care); (b) explore when the patient suffers more anxiety, and (c) examine the possible relation between dental anxiety and sociodemographic factors. Methods: 120 Eligible participants from the Dental Screening Clinic (n=60) and the Dental Emergency Clinic (n=60) were invited to participate in this cross-sectional study. Patients were given a self- administered survey: The survey instrument included five short multiple choice questions related to dental anxiety (Modified Dental Anxiety Scale) and ten sociodemographic questions. Results: Prevalence rates of dental anxiety was compared between both dental clinics, emergency dental clinic participants were more likely to have dental anxiety than dental screening clinic, 42% and 17% respectively (p=0.005). Income level was significantly associated with anxiety status (p=0.028). Conclusions: Dental anxiety was significantly associated with patients attending the emergency dental clinic. Patients suffered more anxiety when thinking of getting “tooth drilled” and “local anesthetic injection” although it was not statistically significant. Finally, rates of high anxiety generally increased with higher income level.

Major Advisor

Angela Bermudez-Millan