Background: Anxiety is seen as an emotional state, which precedes an interaction with a fearful object or situation, whereas anxiety refers to the actual "response" to the object or situation. The purpose of this study was to identify the prevalence of dental anxiety among patients seeking treatment in dental clinics at Riyadh Elm University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and to identify the key causes of their anxiety.
Methodology: This was a cross-sectional, observational study based on a questionnaire including two parts: part one had demographic characteristics and part two included the assessment of dental anxiety using the Modified Corah Dental Anxiety Scale. The collected data were statistically analyzed with descriptive statistics and Pearsons chi-square test (p < 0.05), using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 23.
Result: The study included 200 participants; 66.5% were female and 33.5% were male, 57.0% of the participants were aged between 20 and 30 years, while 18.5% were aged 41 years and above, In terms of the nationality variable, the highest percentage of patients were Saudi nationals (76.5%), while 23.5% were non-Saudis; with regard to education, the highest percentage (9.5%) were educated, while 4.5% were uneducated. Finally, with regard to occupation, 33.5% were in health-related specialties (doctor, pharmacist, nurse), while 6.5% were engineers.
Conclusion: Depending on the results of our research, we conclude that approximately half of Riyadh Elm University patients suffer from different levels of anxiety, and almost all of them are aged 30-40 years. We also suggest that dental students should negotiate the treatment plan and procedures in a simplistic way to minimize the anxiety of patients and enhance their experience of dental visits.
Key words: Dental anxiety, dental fear, anxiety triggers