Agneta Stenebrand

Associate Dean of Education
Executive office , School of Health and Welfare
Centre for Oral Health , School of Health and Welfare
Doctor of Philosophy


Ga 849
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Dental anxiety Among 15-year-olds - Psychosocial factors and oral health

Agneta defended her thesis "Dental anxiety Among 15-year-olds - Psychosocial factors and oral health" June 12, 2015.

Agneta's thesis shows that dental anxiety among 15 year olds has decreased over time in the last 30-years. Moreover, general fear and past experiences of pain are related to dental anxiety among 15-year-olds. The findings indicate that dental professionals have an important task to strive towards a positive and safe dental treatment situation where young dental patients are not subjected to painful treatment. Another important part is to strive towards maintaining a good oral health to prevent negative experiences of dental care in the future.

The thesis is based on two epidemiological cross-sectional studies in Jönköping and consists of four papers. The aim of the thesis was to examine the associations between dental anxiety, experiences of dental care, psychosocial factors and oral health among 15-year-olds, and to analyze changes in the prevalence of dental anxiety over time. In paper one, two and three participants answered questions regarding dental anxiety, temperament, anxiety and depression, generalized fears and attitudes to dental care. Paper four are based on the so-called Jonkoping studies. Data collection was done using questionnaires and clinical examination.

The result of paper one, two and three showed that dental anxiety is related to experiences of dental care and psychosocial factors. Especially the experience of pain in the dental situation, attitudes to dental care and general fear seems to have the strongest impact on dental anxiety. The result of paper four showed an association between dental anxiety and oral health, where young people with dental anxiety, over the 30-year period, had more filled tooth surfaces than young people without dental anxiety. More girls than boys reported dental anxiety. One important result is that dental anxiety has decreased over time in young people at the age of 15.