Assessment of general pre and postoperative anxiety in patients undergoing tooth extraction: a prospective study

Published:January 28, 2013DOI:


      Our aim was to analyse the amount of anxiety and fear felt before, immediately after, and one week after, dental extraction. We studied 70 patients (35 men and 35 women (mean (SD) age 43 (±10) years), who were listed for dental extraction under local anaesthesia in a private clinic that specialised in oral surgery. Patients were evaluated on 3 consecutive occasions: immediately preoperatively, immediately postoperatively, and 7 days later. Each patient's anxiety was measured using Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (Spanish version), the Modified Corah Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS) and the Dental Fear Survey. There were significant differences in the STAI-Trait scale between before and 7 days after extraction (p = 0.04), and in the MDAS between before and immediately after extraction (p = 0.02), and between immediately after and 7 days after extraction (p = <0.001). The DFS also differed between before and immediately after extraction (p = 0.002), and between immediately and 7 days after extraction (p < 0.001). Dental anxiety immediately after tooth extraction may be influenced by operative techniques (type of anaesthesia, duration of operation, or position of tooth extracted), but anxiety at 7 days after extraction is not.


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