University of Oulu

Vainionpää R, Pesonen P, Laitala ML, Pohjola V, Anttonen V. Dental Fear and Dental Health and Attendance among Finnish Male Prisoners. J Oral Maxillofac Res. 2019 Dec 30;10(4):e4. doi:10.5037/jomr.2019.10404

Dental fear and dental health and attendance among Finnish male prisoners

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Author: Vainionpää, Raija1,2; Pesonen, Paula3; Laitala, Marja-Liisa1;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Oral Health Sciences, Department of Cariology, Endodontology and Paediatric Dentistry, University of Oulu, Finland
2Medical Research Centre, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Finland
3Research Unit of Oral Health Sciences, University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Stilus Optimus, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-03-24


Objectives: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence of dental fear and the associations between dental fear and dental health and dental attendance among Finnish prisoners.

Material and Methods: Eighty-nine voluntary male prisoners from the Pelso Prison participated in this cross-sectional clinical study between September 2014 and February 2015. Forty-six (51.7%) of them were also interviewed for their background factors, dental fear and dental attendance. To evaluate the prisoners’ level of dental fear, the Modified Dental Anxiety Scale and Dental Visual Analogue Scale were used. The numbers of decayed, missing, filled and remaining teeth reported dental health. For analyses Pearson’s Chi-square test, Fisher’s exact test, logistic regression analyses and the independent samples Kruskall-Wallis test were conducted.

Results:: Among male prisoners four out of 46 (8.7%) reported severe and fourteen out of 46 (30.4%) moderate dental fear, 60.9% had mild or no dental fear. Those with no dental fear visited a dentist regularly more often than those with dental fear. The use of snuff and number of medications were positively associated with severe dental fear.

Conclusions: Dental fear is common among Finnish male prisoners. High number of prescribed medications, use of snuff and irregular dental attendance may indicate severe dental fear among Finnish male prisoners.

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Series: Journal of oral & maxillofacial research
ISSN: 2029-283X
ISSN-E: 2029-283X
ISSN-L: 2029-283X
Volume: 10
Issue: 4
Article number: e4
DOI: 10.5037/jomr.2019.10404
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 313 Dentistry
Funding: No external funding apart from the support of the author’s institutions (MRC Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu), was available for this study.
Copyright information: © Vainionpää R, Pesonen P, Laitala ML, Pohjola V, Anttonen V. Published in the JOURNAL OF ORAL & MAXILLOFACIAL RESEARCH (, 30 December 2019. This is an open-access article, first published in the JOURNAL OF ORAL & MAXILLOFACIAL RESEARCH, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work and is properly cited. The copyright, license information and link to the original publication on ( must be included.