Dental fear and utilisation behaviour among antenatal mothers in Seremban district


  • N.V. Savithri Department of Community Dentistry Faculty of Dentistry, University of Malaya 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • R. Esa Department of Community Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University



antenatal mothers, avoidance, dental anxiety, dental fear, utilization


Dental fear is a hindrance to the effective provision of oral health care and causes patients to delay, or even avoid necessary care altogether. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and level of dental fear, to identify specific fear provoking stimuli and also to explore the avoidance behaviour among the respondents. A cross-sectional study was conducted on a sample of 407 antenatal mothers utilizing the Kleinknecht's Dental Fear Survey Questionnaire. The overall prevalence of dental fear was 94.1% of which 67.6% of the subjects reported low fear levels, 26.5% were moderately fearful while none were highly fearful. Only 5.9% of the subjects reported no fear. The drill and anaesthetic needle were identified as the most fear provoking objects. Subjects with moderate fear were about 6.4 times (OR=6.39; 95%CI 3.81-10.75) more likely to avoid making appointments and 6 times (OR=6.05; 95% CI 3.20-11.50) more likely to cancel appointments compared to subjects with lower levels of fear. This. study indicates that dental fear is a common problem among antenatal mothers contributing to poor dental attendance.


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