Anxiety may influence dental treatment unfavourably, thus evaluation of the psychophysiological reactions of the child
may reduce its negative effects. This study aimed to evaluate and correlate the levels of cortisol and alpha-amylase, vital signs and
behaviour of children during their first dental visit.
Study sample consisted of 32 children (11 male and 21 female patients)
aged between 4 and 6 years, who would go to the dentist for the first time, with no pain or chronic illness, and without the use of
medication. Three saliva samples were collected: before, immediately after and 20 minutes after the dental procedure (dental
prophylaxis). Statistics: Data were analysed using Student's t test and Pearson's correlation test (p = 0.05).
comparison of the levels of alpha-amylase, the heart rate and blood pressure were higher after the dental visit and the levels of salivary
cortisol were significantly higher before. There was no statistically significant difference in the correlation between the Frankl Behaviour
Rating Scale and the levels of cortisol and alpha-amylase, but the results showed that the levels of these two salivary biomarkers
increased gradually as the child had a less cooperative behaviour. CONCLUSION The sample revealed that the first dental visit
generated anxiety, which was manifested through physiological and behavioural alterations.
Vol.14 – n.4/2013
Harvard: S. S. RodriguesGomes, A. C. BarretoBezerra, A. C. MaiaPrado (2013) "Salivary biomarkers, vital signs and behaviour of pre-school children during their first dental visit", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 14(4), pp279-283. doi:
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