Department of Dental Hygiene, Graduate School of Public Health Science, Eulji UniversityCorresponding1
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the overall research trends and factors influencing dental fears in the last 10 years (2007-2017) and provide recommendations for future research. Methods: The literature review focused on dental fear research in Korea. Inclusion criteria of selected studies were as follows: studies that examined fear in middle school students or older, studies undertaken between 2007-2017, and studies that examined trends and factors relating to dental fears. Results: Findings from this literature review showed that the most commonly used tool for measuring dental fear was the Dental Fear Survey (DFS). A lack of trust towards the dentist increased dental fear among patients. Women managed fear better than men. Past pain experiences increased dental fear. The most frequent intervention for reducing fear was sound (41.7%). Most of the intervention studies demonstrated a reduction of fear, with the exception of interventions using ear plugs. Fear was increased in studies involving ear plugs. Conclusions: Based on the results of the study, specific measures should be taken to alleviate past pain experiences, such as the fear of anesthetic injections and sensations of the dental drill. Continuous research is needed to reduce dental fear.
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