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MINERVA STOMATOLOGICA

A Journal on Dentistry and Maxillofacial Surgery


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Odontostomatology and Maxillofacial Surgery
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Minerva Stomatologica 2005 November-December;54(11-12):647-60

language: English, Italian

Dental anxiety in adolescent people

Daini S., Errico A., Quinti E., Manicone P. F., Raffaelli L., Rossi G.


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Aim. Anxiety in adolescence is a complex phenomenon, but could affect oral hygiene and compliance to dental therapies in young people.
Methods. Owing to the importance of anxiety in coping with odontostomatologic therapy, 2 groups of adolescent subjects (age range 16-20 years) have been compared: a group of patients under treatment at the Policlinico Gemelli (45 subjects, 27 females and 18 males) and a control group of students (39 subjects, 20 females and 19 males). Different aspects of anxiety have been analysed by the STAI Y-I test (state anxiety), STAI Y-2 test (trait anxiety) and the Dental Anxiety Scale, on the basis of the hypothesis that the group of patients should show higher anxiety levels as to state anxiety and dental anxiety. Data were evaluated by the analysis of variance method and Student's t test as regards mean differences.
Results. The group of patients showed significantly higher state anxiety than controls, and significant differences as to trait anxiety were also found. In both groups girls were significantly more anxious than boys. Our results confirm the hypothesis that high anxiety le-vels are related to odontostomatologic treatments.
Patients from Policlinico Gemelli showed a significantly better knowledge of dental hygiene than control group.
Conclusion. A better knowledge of dental hygiene is not sufficient to reduce anxiety. Preventive measures that could reduce anxiety and ensure a better compliance in adolescent patients are thus discussed.

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