Refereed journal article or data article (A1)

Dental fear and sense of coherence among 18-yr-old adolescents in Finland

List of Authors: Sirkka Jaakkola, Päivi Rautava, Maiju Saarinen, Satu Lahti, Marja‐Leena Mattila, Sakari Suominen, Hannele Räihä, Minna Aromaa, Päivi‐Leena Honkinen, Matti Sillanpää


Publication year: 2013

Journal: European Journal of Oral Sciences


Journal acronym: EUR J ORAL SCI

Number in series: 3

Volume number: 121

Issue number: 3

Start page: 247

End page: 251

Number of pages: 5

ISSN: 0909-8836


The aim was to investigate whether dental fear was associated with the sense of coherence (SOC) among 18-yr-old adolescents (n=777). Cross-sectional data from a prospective cohort of a random sample of families from Finland and their first-born children were used. Dental fear was measured using the Modified Dental Anxiety Scale and categorized as high dental fear for scores of 1925 and as no to moderate dental fear for scores of 518. Sense of coherence was measured using a 13-item version of Antonovsky's Sense of Coherence Questionnaire, dichotomized as scores 1363 for weak SOC and as scores of 6491 for strong SOC. Gender and education were included as background factors in the logistic regression analyses. The prevalence of high dental fear was 8%. Those reporting high dental fear reported more often a weaker SOC than did those with no to moderate dental fear (69% vs. 31%, OR=2.5, 95% CI=1.44.4), also when adjusted for gender and education (OR=2.2, 95% CI=1.23.9). According to the theory of salutogenesis, as proposed by Antonovsky, SOC is a resource instrument especially in situations of tension or strain and hence a strong SOC might protect against high dental fear.

Last updated on 2021-24-06 at 10:46