Pathways of Endodontic Fear in Different Age Groups for Iraqi Endodontic Patients

Hashim M. Hussein, Nooruldeen A. Saeed, Iman M. Al-Zaka


Background: Fear, anxiety and phobia are major complications for both patient and dental care providers despite the technological advances that have made dentistry less painful and less uncomfortable. This study aimed to identify the most common pathways of fear related to root canal treatment in different aged groups for both genders.
Materials and methods: The study sample consisted of (800) patients were selected, aged (20-59) years old from patients attend- ing the Al-Shiekh Omar specialized dental center. The questionnaires of pathways of endodontic fear were prepared and translate from English to Arabic languages by certified translator and were filled by patients themselves without any help from endodontists. Patients with mental disabilities, those who only had surgical root canal treatment, those below 20 years and above 59 years old, and those not understand Arabic language were excluded.

Results: The most commonly reported pathway for fear and anxiety with endodontic procedures was the cognitive (32.9%) fol- lowed by the informative, parental, verbal, and vicarious pathways (29%, 25%, 6.7%, 6.4%) respectively. Also, the result showed that the informative pathway appeared higher than other pathways in groups (1, 2); while cognitive pathway appeared higher than other pathways in groups (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). The patients in all groups showed the percentage of direct endodontic fear pathway was less than indirect pathway, where the indirect pathway was (65%) while direct pathway was (35%) totally. The result of the study showed that females had higher percentage (59.3%) of endodontic fear than males (40.7%) generally.

Conclusion: The present study showed that different pathways appear to be adopted by different age groups, indicat- ing the importance of customizing strategies in the management of fear and anxiety related to root canal treatment. Fear of root canal treatment is mostly influenced by the cognitive pathway.


Fear; phobia; cognitive pathway; informative pathway; age.

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