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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 747508, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/747508
Research Article

Dental Fear among Medical and Dental Undergraduates

1Faculty of Dentistry, University of Malaya, Malaysia
2Department of Oral Health & Clinical Prevention, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Received 10 June 2014; Revised 1 September 2014; Accepted 1 September 2014; Published 16 October 2014

Academic Editor: Jack van Honk

Copyright © 2014 H. Hakim and I. A. Razak. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objective. To assess the prevalence and level of dental fear among health related undergraduates and to identify factors causing such fear using Kleinknecht’s Dental Fear Survey (DFS) questionnaire. Methods. Kleinknecht’s DFS questionnaire was used to assess dental fear and anxiety among the entire enrollment of the medical and dental undergraduates’ of the University of Malaya. Results. Overall response rate was 82.2%. Dental students reported higher prevalence of dental fear (96.0% versus 90.4%). However, most of the fear encountered among dental students was in the low fear category as compared to their medical counterpart (69.2 versus 51.2%). Significantly more medical students cancelled dental appointment due to fear compared to dental students (). “Heart beats faster” and “muscle being tensed” were the top two physiological responses experienced by the respondents. “Drill” and “anesthetic needle” were the most fear provoking objects among respondents of both faculties. Conclusion. Dental fear and anxiety are a common problem encountered among medical and dental undergraduates who represent future health care professionals. Also, high level of dental fear and anxiety leads to the avoidance of the dental services.