The relationship between personality characteristics of dentists, dental anxiety, negative stories, and negative experiences with dental treatment.
Background: Negative stories about the dentist are prevalent in mass-media and in social discourse. There are few studies about the effect of this, and we know that dental anxiety has not decreased over time, even though there have been a lot of changes in dental care. This study explores the impact of dental anxiety, negative stories and negative experiences on the rating of dentists’ personality characteristics. Method: A questionnaire was sent out to students at the UiT The Arctic University of Norway, and 118 students chose to participate in the study. The questionnaire included questions on dental anxiety, negative stories, negative experiences of dental treatment, and ratings of dentists’ personality characteristics. Results: There are significant differences in ratings of personality characteristics based on level of dental anxiety and having previous negative dental experiences. People who have not had a negative dental experience and those with low dental anxiety will rate the dentist more favorably on personal characteristics. Almost half of the participants (45,8 %) had at least one negative dental experience, while the majority (79,7 %) of the participants had heard a negative story about the dentist. Approximately one-third (36,4 %) of the participants scored above the mean on dental anxiety. There were significant relationships between dental anxiety, negative dental experience and hearing negative stories. Conclusion: Our study shows that people’s experiences at the dentist, as well as dental anxiety, have a direct effect on how they evaluate the personality characteristics of dentists. There is a relationship between negative stories about the dentist, dental anxiety and negative dental experiences.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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