Dental anxiety in a students' paediatric dental clinic: Children, parents and students

Benjamin Peretz, Yaron Nazarian, Enrique Bimstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the dental anxieties of children, parents and student caregivers in a dental school environment. Methods. Eighty-eight children, parents and the dental students who treated the children were included in the study. They were asked to complete questionnaires which gathered information about demographics and dental anxiety using the Dental Anxiety Scale (DAS). Students were also asked to respond to a visual analogue scale (VAS) to assess their anxiety prior to treating children. Results. Significant differences were observed between the mean DAS of the children compared to the students (8.8 ± 3.9 and 7-3 ± 2.7, respectively), and between the scores of the parents and the students (8.3 ± 2.9 and 7.3 ± 2.7, respectively). No significance was noted between the mean DAS scores of the children and those of the parents. The number of children in family did not influence the mean DAS of the children. Parents' age, education or place of birth did not influence the mean DAS of the parents or the children. The mean DAS of children who reacted excellently in previous treatments scored significantly lower in DAS compared with children who were fearful. Female dental students demonstrated higher DAS and VAS scores than male students. Students' seniority, type of last treatment that they received, time since last treatment, parenthood or self-ranking in class did not seem to significantly influence their DAS or VAS scores. A strong correlation in DAS scores between parents and children was found (r = 0.41, P = 0.0001). No correlation between children's and students' DAS scores was found. Conclusions. Students' dental anxiety, or their anxiety prior to treating a child, may not be directly associated with the child's dental anxiety. However, a positive correlation exists between parental and children's dental anxiety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-198
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Paediatric Dentistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2004
Externally publishedYes


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