Objective: To test whether or not dentally anxious patients attending the dentist for an appointment become more anxious when completing a dental anxiety questionnaire.
Basic research design: Patients were initially screened to include only those who were dentally anxious. A pre- and post-test was planned with the completion of the Modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS) questionnaire as the intervention.
Clinical setting: Two dental access centres in the North West of England.
Participants: Initially, 583 patients were screened. Of these, 182 (31%) were found to be dentally anxious and were recruited into the study.
Main outcome measures: State-Trait Anxiety Inventory Scale Short Form.
Results: State anxiety did not change with the completion of the MDAS questionnaire in either designated dental phobics (MDAS >or=19) or those classified as non-phobics (MDAS <19).
Conclusions: The MDAS can be used to assess dental anxiety without raising anxiety in patients with or without self-reported dental phobia.