The aims of this study were to observe levels of distress in children and their parents before and after extractions under
general anaesthesia (GA) and to assess the effect of age, gender and the number of extractions on distress. DESIGN: a randomized
comparative trial. Setting University Dental Hospital of Manchester.
Material and methods
Two hundred and one children, together with their parents took part in this study. Immediately before GA, the Modified Child Smiley Faces Scales (MCSFS) and Modified Adult Smiley Faces Scales (MASFS) were completed by a trained observer for children and accompanying parents
respectively, and again on recovery from anaesthesia and 15 minutes postoperatively.
There were generalised increases in mean distress scores for children when comparing the pre-operative with the postoperative scores. However, mean distress scores for parents reduced at recovery and 15 minutes postoperatively and were less than the mean distress scores for children. There was no
correlation between the child and parent distress scores preoperatively, postoperatively and 15 minutes postoperatively. There were
significant increase in median distress scores for younger children compared to the older children at recovery and 15 minutes
postoperatively (P0.05). Children who had 8 - 14 teeth extracted demonstrated higher levels of distress than those who had 1 - 7
teeth extracted (P0.05).
Extraction of teeth under general anaesthesia does produce distress in children and their parents. Child and parental distress were not related. Both age and number of teeth extracted appear to influence the level of distress in children.
Vol.8 – n.1/2007
Harvard: G. Gazal, I. C. Mackie (2007) "Distress related to dental extraction for children under general anaesthesia and their parents", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 8(1), pp7-12. doi:
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