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Identified factors in child-dentist relationship important for the management of dental anxiety in Nigerian children

Type:  Articles

Pubblication date:  /4/2004

Authors:  M.O. Folayan*, E.E. Idehen**, O.O. Ojo***

Language:  English

Institution:  *Department of Preventive Dentistry **Department of Psychology ***Department of Educational Foundations and Counselling Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Publication:  European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry

Publisher:  Ariesdue Srl

Keywords:  Dental anxiety, Children, Dentist.

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Email:  [email protected]

Title:  Identified factors in child-dentist relationship important for the management of dental anxiety in Nigerian children

Abstract:  Aim To investigate the effects and interrelationship between dental anxiety and dentistís experience, dentistís behaviour, type of treatment received and the behaviour of Nigerian children during treatment. Methods Pre- and post-dental treatment anxiety levels of 69 child patients, who were attending the dental clinic to receive dental treatment for the first time, were assessed using the DFSS-SF. The dentistís and childís behaviour during treatment procedures were unobtrusively observed and recorded. The pre-treatment anxiety levels were classified as high (HAC) and low (LAC), while those of the dentists who managed the children were categorized as experience or inexperienced. The interrelationship between a childís dental anxiety level, dentistís behaviour during child management, dentistís experience and the type of treatment the child received were analysed. Results The anxiety level of the children decreased significantly post-treatment when experienced dentists managed the child in comparison to inexperienced dentists (Z=3.22, p<0.02). The dentistís behaviour did not significantly affect the anxiety level of the child. However, physical contact was used more frequently with HAC than LAC (z=2.27;p<0.023). There was no association between a childís behaviour in the dental chair and their anxiety level (c2=0.08, p<0.93). Also, the more invasive the procedure, the less the tendency for a noted decrease in anxiety level of a child post-treatment, though this was statistically insignificant (z=1.34; p<0.44). Conclusion The dentistís behaviour played no role in changing the anxiety level of a child nor did it have any influence on anxiety-related behaviour of a child. However, the experience of the dentist was a very significant factor for effecting a decrease

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