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VOLUME 20 , ISSUE 1 ( January, 2019 ) > List of Articles


Pain, Dental Fear, and Oral Health-related Quality of Life—Patients Seeking Care in an Emergency Dental Service in Germany

Keywords : Cohort study,Dental anxiety,Oral health,Orofacial pain,Out-of-hours

Citation Information : Pain, Dental Fear, and Oral Health-related Quality of Life—Patients Seeking Care in an Emergency Dental Service in Germany. J Contemp Dent Pract 2019; 20 (1):3-7.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10024-2467

License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Published Online: 01-01-2019

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2019; Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.


Aim: The aim of this study was to identify the influence of dental fear, pain, and impaired oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) on patients seeking care in a German emergency dental service.

Materials and methods: Patients attending the emergency dental service at the University of Leipzig (Germany) were consecutively recruited and completed three questionnaires, including a visual analog scale for pain, the dental fear survey (DFS), and the oral health impact profile (OHIP–49).

Results: A total of 307 patients attended the emergency dental service and 286 agreed to take part in the study. The mean age was 41.7 years (50.4% males). The pain was reported by 87.2 % of the subjects, and their main reason for seeking care was a toothache (52.6 %). Regarding psychosocial characteristics, the mean OHIP and DFS scores were 40.0 and 47.6, respectively. For dentally fearful patients, a significantly higher impairment of OHRQoL was identified than for subjects with less or no fear. 33.2% of the participants irregularly consulted a dentist, and 58.4% of these patients were categorized as dentally fearful.

Conclusion: The current investigation identified a high pain intensity as well as a high prevalence of dental fear, and a high impairment of OHRQoL in patients seeking care in an emergency dental service.

Clinical significance: The results of the current study might help to develop specific services for patients with dental fear, which can successively reduce the number of emergency dental treatments.

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