Dental anxiety among the adult residents of Barangay Cambaog, Bustos, Bulacan, Philippines

Brenda T. Cheung, Ira Alexandra M. Guiuan, Angelina A. Atienza, Jessica K. Rebueno Santos


Background: Dental anxiety (DA) creates a vicious cycle of dentist avoidance, oral health neglect, increased unmet treatment needs, compromised well-being and quality of life (QoL), which then generates added anxiety. The prevalence of DA among adult Filipinos has not been investigated.

Objectives: This study aimed to establish baseline data on dental anxiety among the adult residents of Barangay (Brgy.) Cambaog, Bustos, Bulacan, Philippines.

Methodology: Three hundred thirty-six (336) randomly selected adult residents completed a questionnaire that included demographics, frequency of dental visits, self-assessment of their oral health status, the Corah's Dental Anxiety Scale (DAS), and reasons for their DA.

Results: The study showed that 11% of the 336 participants had DA, were young adults, affecting twice as many women than men, had lower levels of education, and with a lessening of anxiety with age. Participants with DA were also found to have infrequent dental visits, were symptom-driven, had poorer self-assessed oral health status, and only 13% of the respondents with DA viewed their oral health as healthy. Needles, tooth extraction, pain, previous negative experience, and sound of the drill were some of the triggers that elicited anxiety.

Conclusion: DA affects a proportion of the adult residents of Brgy. Cambaog and can be considered a dental public health problem. The use of screening tools like DAS should be considered for the early recognition of patients with DA so that management measures may be taken to enhance the delivery of oral health services.


dental anxiety; Corah's Dental Anxiety Scale; DAS; adult patient

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Print ISSN: 2704-3517; Online ISSN: 2738-042X