Dental anxiety is defined as the response to a stressful stimulus that is specific to a dental context. The dental treatment itself may provoke excitation and aggressive response relating to multiple sources of motivation that have been examined by the literature.
The hypothesis to test in the present paper is to what extent dental anxiety can be explained by looking at patients’ characteristics solely or by considering latent aggressiveness that could be manifested before and during the dental treatment.The results of the study should give some indications to dentists to better understand the presence of a greater or lesser anxiety associated with orthodontic treatment in order to provide an appropriate assistance and, eventually, to help patients in developing coping strategies. As a consequence, it should be clear how intervening on each component of dental anxiety and/or aggressiveness may have a positive impact on the outcome of dental treatment.
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