World Journal of Dentistry

Register      Login

VOLUME 5 , ISSUE 1 ( January-March, 2014 ) > List of Articles


Prevalence of Dental Anxiety and the Psychometric Properties of Modified Dental Anxiety Scale in Nigeria

Olaide N Koleoso, Kingsley O Akhigbe

Citation Information : Koleoso ON, Akhigbe KO. Prevalence of Dental Anxiety and the Psychometric Properties of Modified Dental Anxiety Scale in Nigeria. World J Dent 2014; 5 (1):53-59.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10015-1258

Published Online: 01-12-2015

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2014; The Author(s).



This study focused on the Modified Dental Anxiety Scale to determine the prevalence of dental anxiety and assess the psychometric properties in Nigerian population.

Materials and methods

Included in the study were 619 participants (204 males and 415 females) chosen conveniently from among the dental patients, students of post basic nursing and staff nurses, all from University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria. The mean age was 31.34 (11.77) years. Participants completed a questionnaire containing the Modified Dental Anxiety Scale.


The prevalence of high dental anxiety was found to be 10.7% at the cut-off point ≥ 19. Cronbach's alpha for the present Nigerian sample was 0.80. Factor analysis revealed one factor with an eigenvalue greater than 2. This factor explained 55.9% of the variance of the items. In addition, the MDAS showed a significant difference between the genders, with the female (X̄ =13.86;SD= 4.64) reporting higher dental anxiety score than the male (X̄ =12.62;SD= 4.73).


MDAS demonstrated satisfactory and acceptable psychometric properties. Therefore, dental surgeons, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists and other therapists can use MDAS as an objective tool for detecting and possible management of high dental anxiety in Nigeria.

How to cite this article

Koleoso ON, Akhigbe KO. Prevalence of Dental Anxiety and the Psychometric Properties of Modified Dental Anxiety Scale in Nigeria. World J Dent 2014;5(1):53-59.

PDF Share
  1. Oral healthrelated quality of life in patients with dental anxiety. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2007;35(5):357-363.
  2. Psychosocial effects associated with dental fear in adult dental patients with avoidance behaviours. Psychology of Health 1993;8:185-196.
  3. Anxiety and quality in phobic dental patients. J Dent Res 2010; 89:302-306.
  4. Psychological consequences of dental fear and anxiety. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2003;31:144-151.
  5. A national cross sectional survey of dental anxiety in the French adult population. BMC Oral Health 2007;7:12
  6. Development of a dental anxiety scale. J Dent Res 1969;48:596
  7. Psychopathology and psychiatric diagnosis in subjects with dental phobia. J Anx Disord 1994;8:19-31.
  8. The modified dental anxiety scale: validation and United Kingdom norms. Community Dent Health 1995;12:143-150.
  9. Conversion tables for the Corah's and Modified Dental Anxiety Scales. Community Dent Health 2007;24(1):49-54.
  10. The prevalence and practice management consequences of dental fear in a major US City. J Am Dent Assoc 1988;166:641-647.
  11. Dental anxiety in adults in Bulgaria. Folia Medica 2010;52(2):49-56.
  12. The west coast study. II: Dental anxiety and satisfaction with dental services. NZ Dent J 1999;95:44-48.
  13. Dental fear in an older adult population. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 1991;19:120-121.
  14. Dental anxiety and dental attendance among 25-year-olds in Norway: Time trends from 1997 to 2007. BMC Oral Health 2011;11:10.
  15. Dental anxiety prevalence and surgery environment factors. A questionnaire—based survey of attendees in Ireland, SAAD Digest 2012;28:13-22.
  16. Prevalence of dental fear and anxiety amongst patients in selected dental clinics. Health Education Journal 2009;68:130-139.
  17. Prevalence of dental fear and phobia relative to other fear and phobia subtypes. Eur J Oral Sci 2009;117(2):135-143.
  18. Psychosocial predictors of dental anxiety. Journal of Health and Psychology 2009;14:53-59.
  19. Characteristic of adult fearful individuals. A cross-cultural study. Eur J Oral Sci 2000;108: 268-274.
  20. Oginni FO. Dental anxiety among patients undergoing various dental treatments in a Nigeria teaching hospital. J Contemp Dent Pract 2005;6:091-098.
  21. Fear of dental care: are we making any progress? J Am Dent Assoc 2013;134(8):1101-1108.
  22. Training of oral health personnel in Fiji. Pac Health Dialog 2003;10:4-5.
  23. Dental anxiety among patients visiting a university dental centre. Nig Dent J 2011;19(1):20-24.
  24. The association between dental anxiety and oral health-related quality of life in Britain. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2004;32(2):67-72.
  25. Trajectories of dental anxiety in a birth cohort. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2009;37(3):209-219.
  26. Self-report measurements of dental and fear in children: a critical assessment. J Dent Child 1998;65:252-258.
  27. Strategies for combating dental anxiety. J Dent Educ 2004;68(11):1172-1177.
  28. Prevalence and characteristics of dental anxiety in Danish adults. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 1993;21:292-296.
  29. Who is dentally anxious? Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 1996;24:346-350.
  30. Reliability and validity of the Modified dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS) in a Turkish population. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2005;33(5):357-362.
  31. Reliability and validity of the Tamil version of Modified Dental Anxiety Scale. J Oral Sci 2012;54(4): 313-320.
  32. The modified dental anxiety scale: UK-general phobic population norm in 2008 with further psychometrics and effects of age. BMC Oral Health 2008;9:20.
  33. Prevalence and sociodemographic correlates of dental anxiety among a group of adult patients attending a dental institution in Vadodara city, Gujarat, India. Indian Journal of Dental Research 2011;22:179-180.
  34. Regular dental visits and dental anxiety in adult dentate population. J Am Dent Assoc 2005;136:58-66.
  35. General and age differences in attitudes to dental pain and dental control. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 1997;25:314-318.
  36. Dental hygiene fear: Gender and age difference. J Contemp Dent Pract 2000;1:1-11.
  37. Dental anxiety among patients prior to different dental treatment. Int Dent J 1999;49:90-94.
  38. Dental anxiety scale in exodontia patients. JKCD 2011;1(2):66-70.
PDF Share
PDF Share

© Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) LTD.