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A short-term follow-up of treatment outcome in groups of uncooperative child dental patients

Type:  Articles

Pubblication date:  /4/2004

Authors:  K. Arnrup*, U. Berggren**, A.G. Broberg***, L. Bodin****

Language:  English

Institution:  *Departments of Pedodontics, Postgraduate Dental Education Centre, Örebro, Sweden **Oral Diagnosis/Endodontology, Faculty of Odontology, Göteborg University, Sweden ***Department of Psychology, Göteborg University, Sweden ****Statistics Unit, Clinical Research Centre, Örebro University Hospital; Sweden

Publication:  European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry

Publisher:  Ariesdue Srl

Keywords:  Dental fear, Behaviour management problems, Personality characteristics

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Title:  A short-term follow-up of treatment outcome in groups of uncooperative child dental patients

Abstract:   Aim To evaluate the short-term follow-up outcome in four subgroups of uncooperative child dental patients referred to a specialist paediatric dental clinic in Sweden. Methods Seventy children, classified into four groups (based on fear, temperament, behaviour and verbal intelligence), were followed-up at their public dental clinics after termination of specialist dental treatment. Questionnaire assessments of children’s dental and general fear, parental dental fear, emotional stress, locus of control and parenting efficacy were made by parents pre and post treatment and at follow-up and were analysed within and between groups. At follow-up, parents rated their children’s coping and procedure stress, while treatment acceptance was rated by the dentists. Results Decreases in child dental fear were maintained at follow-up, although a third of children still had moderate or high dental fear. For those children who had been classified into the externalising, impulsive group, an increased risk of non-acceptance (RR=3.7) was indicated. The risk of dental fear at follow-up was increased for the group of fearful, inhibited children (RR=3.8). For the study group as a whole a poorer follow-up outcome could be predicted by avoidance behaviour (OR 12.9-16.6) and moderate or high post treatment dental fear (OR 6.5-21.3). Conclusions Fearful, inhibited child dental patients may need, due to dental fear, extra attention even after successful dental treatment at a specialist clinic. Externalising, impulsive children constitute a special challenge for dentistry. The continued need for adjusted management after termination of specialist treatment can be predicted from avoidance behaviour and post treatment dental fear scores.

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