University of Oulu

Kämppi, A.; Tanner, T.; Viitanen, O.; Pohjola, V.; Päkkilä, J.; Tjäderhane, L.; Anttonen, V.; Patinen, P. Association of Dental Fear with Caries Status and Self-Reported Dentition-Related Well-Being in Finnish Conscripts. Dent. J. 2022, 10, 45.

Association of dental fear with caries status and self-reported dentition-related well-being in Finnish conscripts

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Author: Kämppi, Antti1; Tanner, Tarja2,3; Viitanen, Olavi2;
Organizations: 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases, University of Helsinki, 00100 Helsinki, Finland
2Department of Cariology, Endodontology and Paediatric Dentistry, University of Oulu, 90570 Oulu, Finland
3MRC, Oulu University Hospital, University of Oulu, 90570 Oulu, Finland
4Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Oulu, 90570 Oulu, Finland
5Helsinki University Hospital, 00029 Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-08-11


The main aim of this cross-sectional study was to examine the prevalence of dental fear among Finnish conscripts. Other aims were to study the association between dental fear and cariological status as well as their self-reported, dentition-related well-being. The study material consisted of 13,564 men and 255 women conscripts who underwent oral examinations. Of those, 8713 responded to a computer-based questionnaire. The mean number of decayed teeth (DT) was used in analyses for cariological status. Self-reported dental fear, dentition-related well-being and regular check-ups were analysed. Data were analysed with cross tables, Pearson Chi-Square tests, Fisher’s exact test and binary logistic regressive analysis. High dental fear or finding dental visits very scary was associated with DT > 2 both among women (14.6%, when DT = 0; 33.3%, when DT > 2) and men conscripts (2.3% and 10.8%, respectively). In addition, those reporting that dental health had a negative impact on their well-being and had no regular check-ups were more likely to need cariological treatment than the rest. A high education level, both one’s own and parental, was a protective factor for restorative treatment need in male conscripts. The findings of this study support the concept of a vicious cycle of dental fear and dental caries. A preventive, interactive way of work by dental teams would most likely be beneficial for dental health, avoiding the development of dental fear, and dentition-related well-being.

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Series: Dentistry journal
ISSN: 2304-6767
ISSN-E: 2304-6767
ISSN-L: 2304-6767
Volume: 10
Issue: 3
Article number: 45
DOI: 10.3390/dj10030045
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 313 Dentistry
Funding: This research received no external funding. The APC was funded by the University of Helsinki. The study has been written in the course of official duties. None of the writers had any funding for this article.
Copyright information: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (