Introduction: Nowadays dental interventions can be performed without pain, however there is an increasing demand for treatments being also free of fear and anxiety. Aim: The aim of the study was the epidemiological evaluation of dental fear and anxiety among Hungarian children living in Tirgu- Mures. Methods: After appropriate information about the purpuse and circumstances of the survey was provided to the subjects, pupils from the Theoretical Lyceum Bolyai Farkas participated voluntarily in this questionnaire-based transversal study. Respecting their anonimity, 170 subjects (81 boys, 89 girls), aged 14–18-years were surveyed. Questionnaries widely spread in the intenational literature have been used: Modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS), Dental Fear Survey (DFS), Dental Beliefs Survey (DBS), Spielberger’s State and Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-S, STAI-T). Statistical analysis was performed by SPSS version 16.0 software using one-way ANOVA, unpaired t-test and Pearson correlation. Results: The surveyed subjects’ mean scores: MDAS 11.38±4.1; DFS 35.11±11.2; DBS 35.2±9.3; STAI-S 42.9±11.7 and STAI-T 43.75±10.1. Girls presented significantly higher scores than boys (p<0.05). Positive correlation was found between dental anxiety, general anxiety and dental fear values, respectively. Conclusions: The scores we found were higher than those in the international literature. The most common triggers of dental fear and anxiety were painful treatment followed by the dentists’ inappropriate behaviour. Nevertheless, Hungarian children from Tirgu-Mures have a better opinion about dentists compared to earlier data from Romania. Efficient communication between patient and practitioner is essential in dental fear and anxiety control.
Keywords: Hungarian children, dental fear, dental anxiety, questionnaire-based survey