Self-Assessed Dental Status, Oral Behavior, DMF, and Dental Anxiety

  • Wotman S
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relation between self-assessed dental status, oral behavior, dental anxiety, and DMF scores. The study was conducted among young army personnel (eighteen to twenty-one years old) who arrived at a single military dental clinic for dental screening. A questionnaire was used to collect the data anonymously. The questionnaire included self-assessment of dental status and behavior, as well as the Dental Anxiety Scale (DAS). Dental caries status was evaluated using the World Health Organization (WHO) caries diagnostic criteria for decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT). A total of 393 young adults were examined (98.3 percent response rate). Approximately one-third brushed their teeth once a day or not at all. Of the participants, 10.7 percent assessed their dental status as "Poor" and 46.3 percent as "Fair." Furthermore, 25.5 percent assessed their dental treatment needs as high. The average DAS score was 7.14. The average DMF score was 6.2. There was a correlation between self-reported tooth status, participants' assessment of their dental treatment needs, and DMF score (p<0.0001). Anxious participants assessed their dental treatment needs as higher (p=0.05). The dental practitioner could ask patients to assess their dental status prior to treatment or appointment. These findings will help the practitioner to accomplish more effective time and patient management.




Wotman, S. (2007). Self-Assessed Dental Status, Oral Behavior, DMF, and Dental Anxiety. Yearbook of Dentistry, 2007, 189.

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