The association between dental anxiety and oral health-related quality of life in Britain

Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2004 Feb;32(1):67-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0528.2004.00119.x.


Objective: The aim of this study was to identify associations between level of dental anxiety and the impact of oral health on quality of life (OHQOL) in Britain, controlling for sociodemographic and oral health status (self-reported) factors.

Methods: The basic research design included a cross-sectional study involving a random probability sample of 3000 UK residents. The outcome measures were: levels of dental anxiety, which were measured on the Corah Dental Anxiety Scale (DAS), and the impact of OHQOL, which was assessed using UK oral health-related quality of life instrument (OHQoL-UK (W)).

Results: DAS was correlated with OHQoL-UK (W) scores (P < 0.01). Having controlled for sociodemographic factors (age, gender and social class) and oral health status factors (self-reported number of teeth possessed and denture status), known confounding factors associated with OHQOL, those with high levels of dental anxiety (DAS > or = 15) were approximately two times as likely to be among those experiencing the poorest OHQOL (below the population median OHQoL-UK (W) score) in Britain (P < 0.001; OR = 1.93; 95% CI 1.41, 2.65).

Conclusion: Dental anxiety is associated with the impact oral health has on life quality. Those experiencing high levels of dental anxiety are among those with the poorest oral health-related quality of life in Britain.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Dental Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Dental Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Dental Anxiety / psychology*
  • Dentures / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Manifest Anxiety Scale
  • Middle Aged
  • Oral Health*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sex Factors
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Social Class
  • Tooth Loss / psychology
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology