The aim of our study is to verify if some of the noises produced in a dental surgery, especially those of high-
speed drill and Erbium laser, might cause anxiety to children.
In order to confirm our
hypothesis, we recorded these noises and then reproduced them to a group of children in a neutral setting, in this case at
school. The children were aged 6 to 10 years, 55.9 were Italian, while the remaining 44.1 were of other
nationalities. Some of them already had a previous experience at the dentist's.
The range of images recalled by
the children is very small, and they all refer to a realistic, imaginary and sometimes daily context (domestic, family and game
related). Such representations have rarely been associated to negative sensations.
The noise environment
of the dentist's surgery, for what concerns the two stimuli we analysed (high-speed Drill and Erbium laser), does not cause
an anxious reaction to the majority of children; as a matter of fact the percentage of positive sensations and emotions turns
out to be predominant. The results obtained suggest it would be useful to protect this natural tendency, finding out the best
method to prevent adult models, such as parents or clinical staff, from affecting it in a negative way.
Vol.12 – n.4/2011
Harvard: V. Birardi, F. Pasini (2011) "Study about the effects of dental noises on the emotional experiences of children aged 6 to 10 years. A pilot study", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 12(4), pp236-238. doi:
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