The prevalence of dental fear and avoidance: a recent survey study.

R. J. Gatchel, B. D. Ingersoll, L. Bowman, M. C. Robertson, C. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


This study evaluates the current incidence of dental fear and avoidance in the general population. A telephone survey, using a random dialing procedure, was used as a means of data collection. Results indicated that 11.7% of the respondents reported high dental fear, and another 17.5% reported moderate dental fear. Results also disclosed that 36.5% of those surveyed had not been to the dentist in over a year. Approximately 15.5% of the respondents surveyed had some degree of dental fear and were dental avoiders (using the criterion of no dental visitation for at least one year). These findings highlight the fact that additional attention and research efforts still need to be dedicated to dealing with the highly fearful and avoidant dental patient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-610
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of the American Dental Association (1939)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1983


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