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Quintessence International



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Quintessence Int 38 (2007), No. 7     14. June 2007
Quintessence Int 38 (2007), No. 7  (14.06.2007)

Online Article, Page 612, PubMed:17694200

Online Article: Dental visits and personality traits among young adults
Levin, Liran / Proter, Noam E. / Levin, Sagit
Objective: To evaluate the relationship between dental behavior, dental anxiety, and personality attachment traits among a healthy young adult population.
Method and Materials: The study population consisted of 450 young adults (18 to 19 years old) who arrived for dental screening before military service. The survey was based on a questionnaire about dental behavior (ie, dental treatments and follow-up frequency, last dental visit, etc) as well as the Corah Dental Anxiety Scale (DAS) questionnaire, and the Self-Report Measurement of Adult Attachment (SRAA) questionnaire used to rate 3 adult attachment styles (secure, anxious, and avoidant).
Results: The questionnaire was completed by 429 participants (95.3% response rate), in which 131 (30.5%) reported regular visits to their dental clinician and 61 (14.2%) did not visit a dental clinic at all. A total of 287 participants (66.9%) reported their last dental visit to be during the previous 2 years before the study, and 49 (11.4%) reported no visit to a dental office during the previous 5 years. DAS score ranged from 4 to 20 (mean 8.5 ± 3.3). High levels of dental anxiety, as indicated by DAS scores, correlated with less frequent dental visits, as well as with no visit to a dental clinic over the past few years. Participants who scored high on avoidant attachment were more likely to report occasional or no dental visits (P = .03). High DAS scores were more frequent among anxiously attached persons (P < .001) and among participants who scored high on attachment avoidance (P = .0013).
Conclusions: Physiologic factors could have an impact on the patient's response. Patients, particularly anxious and avoidant attached ones, tend to visit the dental clinic less frequently.

Keywords: anxiety, avoidance, Bowlby, dental fear, psychologic attachment, psychologic evaluation