Comparison of Dental Anxiety While Visiting Dental Clinics before and after Getting Vaccinated in Midst of COVID-19 Pandemic

Vaccines (Basel). 2022 Jan 13;10(1):115. doi: 10.3390/vaccines10010115.


Vaccination is critical to control the rate of coronavirus transmission and infectivity. Dental practices are a high-risk area for contracting coronavirus; this fact generates psychological disturbances amongst patients. In this study, we aimed to assess the levels of anxiety of patients while visiting dental practices before and after getting vaccinated. This cross-sectional study was carried out between March and December 2021. An electronic survey was distributed among the vaccinated individuals who visited dental clinics before and after getting vaccinated. The survey consisted of the following four parts: demographic characteristics, questions related to coronavirus, and anxiety scores before and after getting vaccinated. SPSS-25 was used to perform the statistical analysis, where paired t-test was used to compare the anxiety scores, and Mann-Whitney U test to assess the association of gender with anxiety scores. A p-value of ≤0.05 was considered to be statistically significant. A total of 400 vaccinated individuals participated in this study, with a response rate of 88.23%. The majority of the respondents (71.0%) did not test positive for coronavirus. More than half of the participants (54.0%) reported to not be suffering from any coronavirus-related symptoms. About 100 (25.0%) of the individuals stated that dental clinics are an environment in which there is a high risk of contracting coronavirus. In regards to the comparison of the mean MDAS scores of the participants before and after getting vaccinated, a significant difference (p = 0.001) was found. Vaccination has been recommended for all eligible individuals to control the transmission and infectivity of coronavirus. Vaccinations have decreased the dental anxiety of patients while visiting dental clinics. However, the protective measures are still valid and should be followed, regardless of the vaccination status.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; coronavirus; dental anxiety; dental clinics; vaccines.