Utt, Laurie Gene (2015-05). Texas Dental Hygienists' Use of Behavioral Management Techniques for Patients with Dental Anxiety. Master's Thesis.
Purpose: Dental anxiety is a prevalent condition negatively affecting both the dental patient and the dental team. Behavioral management techniques have shown to help increase relaxation, reduce anxiety and decrease the amount of pharmaceutical agents which are known to have potentially harmful side effects. The purpose of this study was to measure the knowledge, attitudes and practices of Texas registered dental hygienists' use of behavioral management techniques for dentally anxious patients. Methods: The participants in this study were registered dental hygienists currently licensed in Texas. After pilot testing, a paper survey was sent to 300 Texas licensed dental hygienists. Ninety-four Texas registered dental hygienists completed the 27-item survey. Results: Texas dental hygienists are interested in learning more techniques to help their dentally anxious patients learn to be calmer and more relaxed. Conclusion: The prevalence of dental anxiety could be reduced if dental hygienists learned even more on the topic of the dentally anxious patient both in their dental hygiene education and throughout their careers by attending continuing education courses.