Assessment of Dental Fear and Anxiety and Its Interrelation with Behaviour amongst Children of Various Age Groups in Their First Dental Visit in Chennai

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Dr. Maria Anthonet Sruthi, Dr. EMG Subramanian, Dr. Ganesh Jeevanandan


Background and Aim: Dental fear predisposes to avoidance of dental treatment which may consequentially affect a person’s oral as well as psychological health. Early recognition of the child dental fear using projective self-report techniques and psychometric scales is necessary to implement an appropriate behaviour management technique which is crucial for a productive treatment delivery to the child patient. Hence, this research aimed to assess dental fear and anxiety (DFA) amongst children belonging to the 4- 14 years age group in their first dental visit and to correlate DFA with behaviour using Facial image scale (FIS), Dental anxiety scale, Children’s fear survey schedule (CFSS) and Frankl’s behaviour rating scale.

Methodology: Thiscross-sectional study was carried out in children belonging to the 4-14 years age group during their first dental visit. A single operator elicited responses from the children for the Facial image scale and Dental anxiety scale. This was followed by assessment of fear using CFSS and behaviour employing Frankl’s behaviour rating scale. The responses obtained were examined and correlated using suitable statistical analysis.

Results and Conclusion:The research summarised that dental anxiety and fear lessened as the children grew. However, highly anxious and fearful children tended to exhibit negative behaviour on the dental chair. However, DFA was not influenced by gender.

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