Dental anxiety (DA) is a common problem worldwide because it renders dental treatment in children challenging. This study aimed to evaluate the long-term effect of dental treatment under general anaesthesia (GA) or physical restraints (PR) on children’s DA and behaviour.
A total of 103 children were recruited and divided into four groups: the GA group, PR group, cooperative (CO) group, and no experience (NE) group. The face version of the Modified Child Dental Anxiety Scale and modified Venham’s Clinical Anxiety and Cooperative Behaviour Rating Scale were used to evaluate the level of DA and behaviour.
The DA score of the GA group was significantly higher than that of the NE group (P=0.033). Children who underwent GA in the past were considered to be at a higher risk for DA than those who had been submitted to PR or those without previous dental experience. The behaviour rating was lowest in the CO group (P<0.05), while no significant differences were found for other groups. A positive relationship was demonstrated between DA scores and behaviour, but the agreement was just moderate.
Dental treatment under GA is associated with a higher risk for DA when compared with that under PR in the long term. Increased DA may lead to uncooperative dental behaviour, although the agreement is only moderate.
Vol.23 – n.1/2022
Harvard: F. Zhou, S. Zhang, W. Ma, Y. Xiao, D. Wang, S. Zeng, B. Xia (2022) "The long-term effect of dental treatment under general anaesthesia or physical restraints on children’s dental anxiety and behaviour", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 23(1), pp27-32. doi: 10.23804/ejpd.2022.23.01.05
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