Do people trust dentists? Development of the Dentist Trust Scale

J. M. Armfield, M. Ketting, S. Chrisopoulos, S. R. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Background: This study aimed to adapt a measure of trust in physicians to trust in dentists and to assess the reliability and validity of the measure. Methods: Questionnaire data were collected from a simple random sample of 596 Australian adults. The 11-item General Trust in Physicians Scale was modified to apply to dentists. Results: The Dentist Trust Scale (DTS) had good internal consistency (α = 0.92) and exploratory factor analysis revealed a single-factor solution. Lower DTS scores were associated with less trust in the dentist last visited, having previously changed dentists due to unhappiness with the care received, currently having dental pain, usual visiting frequency, dental avoidance, and with past experiences of discomfort, gagging, fainting, embarrassment and personal problems with the dentist. Conclusions: The majority of people appear to exhibit trust in dentists. The DTS shows promising reliability and validity evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-362
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Dental Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Sept 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Dental experiences
  • dental visiting
  • dentist trust
  • scale development
  • validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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