Short-term antidepressant treatment of comorbid dental anxiety in patients with panic disorder

UGUZ S., Seydaoglu G., DOGAN C., INANC B., YURDAGUL E., Diler R.

ACTA ODONTOLOGICA SCANDINAVICA, vol.63, no.5, pp.266-271, 2005 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 63 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00016350510020007
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.266-271
  • Çukurova University Affiliated: Yes


Objectives. The aims of this study were to determine the frequency of dental anxiety (DA) and dental phobia (DP) in panic disorder, and to follow the changes in DA levels during antidepressant treatment of panic disorder. Methods. Fifty-three controls and 102 panic disorder patients were assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview (SCID), the Panic-Agoraphobia Scale (PAS), and the Corah Dental Anxiety Scale (DAS). Oral health status was defined by the number of decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) index. The patients were classified into three groups: (1) those without dental anxiety (WDA), (2) those with dental anxiety (DA), and (3) those with dental phobia (DP). All patients were treated with antidepressants for 3 months and the response rates were assessed. Results. At baseline, DAS was significantly higher in both the DA and the DP groups than in the control group. Ten (9.8%) of the panic disorder patients fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for DP; 31 (30.4%) had severe DA. In the control group, none of the patients was diagnosed as DP, whereas 7 (13.5%) had severe DA. Panic disorder and DA both responded to the antidepressant treatment, but DAS scores remained significantly higher in the DP group than in the DA group and the control group at the end of the third month. Conclusions. Our data suggest that both DA and DP are more frequent in panic disorder than in healthy controls. Antidepressant treatment may have been helpful in decreasing DA levels in the DA group but not in the DP group.