Dental and Medical Problems

Dent Med Probl
Index Copernicus (ICV 2020) – 128.41
MEiN – 70 pts
CiteScore (2021) – 2.0
JCI – 0.5
Average rejection rate (2021) – 81.35%
ISSN 1644-387X (print)
ISSN 2300-9020 (online)
Periodicity – quarterly

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Dental and Medical Problems

2015, vol. 52, nr 2, April-June, p. 205–214

Publication type: original article

Language: English

Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 Open Access

Applicability of the Numeric Scale for Anxiety Evaluation in Patients Undergoing Dental Treatment

Przydatność skali numerycznej do oceny lęku u pacjentów przed zabiegami stomatologicznymi

Izabela Walawender1,A,B,C,D,F, Wojciech Roczniak1,D,E,F, Damian Nowak2,B,E,F, Monika Skowron1,B,E,F, Martyna Waliczek2,B,E,F, Anna Rogalska1,B,F, Przemysław Grzegorz Nowak1,A,D,F

1 Toxicology and Drug Addiction Division, Department of Toxicology and Health Protection, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland

2 Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Medical University of Silesia, Medical University of Silesia, Bytom, Poland


Background. Anxiety over dental procedures is a prevalent and serious problem both for patients and dentists. It undermines therapy effectiveness and is the main reason for avoiding dental appointments and treatment. Dental fear can be assessed using various scales; however, due to their complex and time-consuming nature, the scales are rarely used in regular clinical practice. Thus, there is a demand for a simple, immediate and reliable method that can be applied as a tool to assess anxiety and be accepted by dentists in everyday practice.
Objectives. The study was designed to determine the utility of the numeric scale for dental anxiety assessment.
Material and Methods. A total of 205 adult patients, both sexes, aged 18–81 years, were involved in the study. Before entering dental surgery, the patients were asked to complete Corah’s Dental Anxiety Scale (CDAS), StateTrait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and to rate their fear on numeric scale (NRS). Furthermore, patients were asked to define the most unpleasant sensation accompanying dental treatment and determine the reason for appointment.
Results. Approximately 50% of the study population had high level of dental anxiety (assessed by CDAS), even more (60%) expressed high level of general anxiety (state-anxiety STAI). Pain during surgery and local anesthesia were identified as the main source of the most unpleasant sensations. We found a very high correlation between NRS and CDAS, and moderate between NRS and STAI.
Conclusion. NRS is a quick and reliable dental anxiety rating method.

Key words

adults, measures, numeric scale, dental anxiety, CDAS scale

Słowa kluczowe

dorośli, lęk dentystyczny, metody oceny lęku, skala numeryczna, skala CDAS

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