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Rahul Bhola 1 Article
Dental Procedures, Oral Practices, and Associated Anxiety: A Study on Late-teenagers
Rahul Bhola, Reema Malhotra
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2014;5(4):219-232.   Published online August 31, 2014
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AbstractAbstract PDF
The study aims to determine the degree of anxiety pertaining to dental procedures and various oral hygiene practices among college teenagers.
Corah's Modified Dental Anxiety Scale was administered on a randomly chosen sample of 100 Indian college students (50 males and 50 females) of Delhi University, belonging to the age group of 17–20 years.
Descriptive statistical computations revealed 12.14 years as the mean age of first dental visit, with moderately high levels of anxiety (60.75%) for various dental procedures among the Indian teenagers and 5% lying in the “phobic or extremely anxious” category. With merely 4.16% people going for regular consultations, general check-ups evoked 78.3% anxiety and having an injection or a tooth removed was perceived as the most threatening. The sample subgroup not using mouthwash and mouthspray, smokers, and alcohol drinkers with improper oral hygiene practices experienced much higher anxiety towards routine dental procedures.
The majority of the Indian youngsters had an evasive attitude of delaying dental treatment. The core problems lay in deficient health care knowledge, lack of patient-sensitive pedagogy to train dental professionals, inaccessibility of services, and a dismissive attitude towards medical help. The feelings of fear and anxiety prevalent among the Indian youth offer significant insights into causes and preventive measures for future research and practice. Methods of education and motivation could be developed to dissipate the anxiety amongst Indian teenagers that prevent routine dental visits and maintenance of adequate oral hygiene.


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PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives