Purpose: The objective of the present study was to assess dental anxiety and study its relationship with the perceived Health Locus of Control (HLC) among students in an Indian dental school. Methods: A total of 325 students returned completed history forms that consisted of the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control (MHLC) scale and the Modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS). Results: 'Fear of the needle' was the greatest stimulus of dental anxiety with a mean score of 3.3, which was followed by 'tooth drilling' whose mean score was 2.7. There was also a statistically significant decrease in the mean scores for all of the MDAS items from 1st year to 4th year, except the item related to local anaesthetic injection, whose mean score remained high throughout. The mean scores of the three aspects of the MHLC scale (internal, chance and powerful others) were compared with respect to dental anxiety. The results showed that 'internal' was the most powerful of the three aspects of MHLC among all three anxiety groups. The mean 'internal' score for the low anxiety group was 4.4, which reduced to 4.1 for the high anxiety group. A statistically significant inverse correlation was also found between the 'internal' dimension of MHLC and dental anxiety. Conclusion: Perceived HLC was found to play an important role in predicting the dental anxiety among dental students.
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