Objectives To explore the fear/anxiety inducing triggers associated with dental treatment, and what dentally anxious adults would like from their dental encounter. Methods Two focus-groups and three interviews with fourteen dentally-anxious people were conducted in this qualitative study. All discussions were tape-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Content was categorised by common characteristics to identify underlying themes using thematic analysis. Results Four themes were identified to bring general meaning within the content: 1. Preparedness, 2. Teamwork, 3. Reinforced trust, 4. Tailored treatment plan. Conclusions Preparatory information may need to be tailored and comprehensive, yet dissociative and reassuring. Dentally-anxious people might want a sense of control and shared-decision making. They may not want dentists to understate the treatment procedures and risks to make them feel better temporarily. Clinical significance Dental anxiety affects between 10 and 60% of the population. Participants in this study suggested different ways the dental team could help their anxiety. Therefore, it is key for whole dental team to find out what could be done to help dentally anxious patients.
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