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14 Feb 2014 | Press Release

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Kids' Fear Of The Dentist Research Funded By Industry Grant

Research Grants

Measuring children's fear of the dentist is a pioneering field of study to be partially funded by a grant from the Australian Dental Industry Association (ADIA), the peak business organisation representing manufacturers and suppliers of quality dental products.

"We are pleased that Dr Jason Armfield from the University of Adelaide has received this grant that will support research into a more comprehensive measure of dental anxiety and fear in children," said Troy Williams, ADIA Chief Executive Officer.

The grant, funded by ADIA, is awarded each year to the primary applicant for the highest-ranked research project of those considered by the Australian Dental Research Foundation (ADRF). Dr Armfield's project, Development of a modular index of children's dental anxiety and fear, was considered by the ADRF Grant Committee to be important in developing a fundamental understanding of the psychological construct of dental fear in children, a major factor in preventing regular visits to the dentist.

"Knowing the extent of dental fear and phobia in the child population is important for understanding the impact this condition can have on the use of dental services. This informs practitioners who may then be more likely to screen for dentally fearful children and therefore provide more tailored treatment," said Dr Armfield.

"In developing this new measure, it is hoped that a new theoretically and psychometrically sound scale will replace existing inadequate measures, leading to widespread international use and eventual development of approaches in managing this fear" he continued.

ADIA is proud to be funding the grant and is honoured to be associated with such important work. It is congruous with ADIA's commitment to supporting the growth and sustainability of Australia's dental industry.

"This type of research is significant as dental fear is a major factor in non-visits to the dentist. Measuring and managing this fear will lead to less anxiety and more regular visits and through that, increased demand for dental products," Mr Williams said.

The ADRF is jointly supported by ADIA and the Australian Dental Association (ADA) for the purpose of sponsoring dental research towards improving the dental health of the people of Australia.

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