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24 November 2020

Explanation of dental implant treatment : audiovisual information or verbal communication face to face?

Giulia Palandrani

During the explanation of implant-based treatments three factors may influence the level of fear and anxiety experienced by the patient: 

the quantity of information demanded by the patient,

how much information the dental professional chooses to supply

how that information is transmitted

In fact it would appear that those patients who demand more information in advance suffer less anxiety, while those who demand less present greater anxiety.
Furthermore some authors believe that a greater amount of information will reduce anxiety before surgeries, while others believe that a large quantity of information will increase anxiety in a patient who is about to undergo dental implant surgery.
Talking about the way in which information is transmitted, the use of audiovisual material has become more widespread in dental clinics recently. Video-based information can save time and improve the quality of information, but can this replace conventional face-to-face verbal transmission?

The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of audiovisual information on fear and anxiety in patients undergoing dental Implant treatment , comparing the use of video with conventional verbal information. 

Materials and methods
All patients (n = 300) responded to an interview to determine the information patients already had about the Implant treatment they were to undergo.

The patients were randomized into two groups 

Group 1 - conventional face-to-face verbal information about Implant treatment explaining from the local anesthesia until suture, the dentist used always the same prepared text of 192 words. 

Group 2- audiovisual information about the single implant surgical procedure was imparted by means of a video shown on a tablet. The video lasted 1.39 min and provided the same 192-word text used for group 1 accompanied by a video.

After providing all patients with this information, fear and anxiety generated by the two information methods, were assessed using Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), the Modified Corah Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS), and the Kleinknecht Dental Fear Scale (DFS). 

After implant surgery , each patient responded via a 100 mm long VAS to two statements: “I am satisfied with the information received” (0 mm complete dissatisfaction - 100 mm full satisfaction), and “I would have liked to receive more information” (0 mm they would not have liked to receive more information and 100 mm they would have liked to receive much more information). 

The two groups were compared, they were found to be homogenous in terms of age, sex, education level, smoking, alcohol consumption, and toothbrushing. The groups were found to be homogenous in their levels of knowledge about the Implant treatment process. In relation to the source of information about dental treatment 36 of the 300 patients (12%) had received initial information from friends, 152 of the 300 patients (50.67%) from dentists or nurses, 12 of 300 patients (4%) from  divulgation media, and 100 of 300 patients (33.33%) from Internet .
After receiving information verbally or via video, group 2 (audiovisual information) showed greater anxiety and fear evaluated by means of the three test (STAI, MDAS, DFS), than group 1 patients (verbal information), with statistically significant difference.
After completing Implant treatment , both groups were equally satisfied with the information received , and with the need for additional information .


Audiovisual information seems to generate higher levels of anxiety and fear than conventional face-to-face verbal information in patients undergoing dental Implant treatment . Further clinical studies should be conducted to confirm the present findings.

For additional information:  Impact of audiovisual information on anxiety and fear in patients undergoing dental implant treatment. 

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