FEAR OF DENTAL CONSULTATION IN UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

Introduction. Dental procedures can produce anxiety and fear in patients, which may be an obstacle to maintain oral health. Negative dental experiences are often mentioned as the major cause of dental anxiety. Dental treatments play an essential role in health maintenance, so having healthy teeth and a good oral hygiene should be the main concern of all citizens. Anxiety towards dental treatment not only has an impact on oral health, it also causes imbalances on other areas of life as well as in overall health. This work aims to identify the causes of fear of dental treatment and to help taking preventive measures in undergraduate students. Dental practice has confirmed the frequent presence of different conditions in which anxiety disorders and stress lead to the emergence and intensification of such symptomatology with clear oral manifestations. The proposal of this project arises from the need to address the important oral health issues that impact the individual’s overall health and that are affecting significantly Universidad Veracruzana students. Those problems go from poor oral hygiene to the lack of information regarding the most common oral diseases and their impact on overall health. Developing from mild to severe problems in which fear or anxiety about dental treatment will cause serious problems in the upcoming economically active population.

Objective. Identify the causes of fear of dental treatment in Universidad Veracruzana students.

Materials and methods. A prospective, descriptive study was conducted. The sample was randomly determined with Universidad Veracruzana students. Dental fears survey CMD.-20 was used as a basis for this study, consisting of 19 items on activities and experiences related to dental care.

Results. Overall, 44% of the surveyed students are too afraid of consultation due to medical malpractice from the health professional and other 32% are afraid of it because of the humane treatment they have received on the part of the health professional. Another 32% are afraid of it as a consequence of the inherent aspects of treatment such as the use of anesthetics during dental treatment, the cases where the work is carried out by nurses or fingers are inserted into the mouth of the patient.

Conclusions. During dental consultation the health professional should make the patient feel in a relaxed atmosphere, he must be qualified to use the proper dose of anesthesia needed and he must have a time frame to avoid delays in consultations and thus anxiety while waiting.