Child dental anxiety can be related to poor oral hygiene, along with more missing and decayed teeth. Information on the origin of dental fear and uncooperative behavior in pediatric dentistry is important for behavior management strategy. A limited number of studies have investigated the effects of environmental factors comparatively. Accordingly, the present study aimed to evaluate dental anxiety in children who referred to Hamadan Dental School with respect to such environmental factors during 2018-2019.
In this cross-sectional study, the level of child dental anxiety was evaluated by the Modified Child Dental Anxiety Scale (MCDAS) and Venham picture test (VPT). The study was conducted on 121 children aged 9-12 years old and the obtained data were statistically analyzed with SPSS 20. In addition, analytical methods such as t test, Freedman test, and independent t test (α = 0.05), as well as one-way ANOVA, Kruskal-Wallis, and Mann-Whitney were utilized for analyzing the data. Finally, the correlation between the two questionnaires was measured using the Pearson test.
Tooth extraction and injection in the gum were operated with the highest level of anxiety. The relationship between MCDAS and VPT scores was significant. According to the MCDAS score, having a dental experience was the only factor that was significantly related to child dental anxiety. Based on the VPT score, gender, dental experience, clinic type, and mother’s education level were the variables with a significant relationship with the child dental score.
In general, aggressive dental treatment such as tooth extraction and restoration should be avoided in the first visit of children. The level of dental anxiety among female children was higher compared to male children, therefore, female children need more attention in this regard. Eventually, mothers’ awareness of dental and oral hygiene also plays an important role in reducing the dental anxiety of their children.
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