Abstract: Aim To assess levels of anxiety in children concerning different dental instruments and equipment and to relate them with parents’ anxiety levels moments before the appointment.
Materials and methods Fifty children from 4 to 12 years of age (average of 10±3.07) and their respective parents were evaluated. A facial scale was used to assess children’s anxiety levels, while the Dental Anxiety Scale (DAS) was used to assess parents. Friedman test was applied to check any differences in children’s anxiety levels relative to the equipment/instruments, and this was complemented by the use of the Wilcoxon test for two-by-two comparison. In order to assess correlation between parents’ and their children’s anxiety levels, the study used Spearman correlation coefficient.
Results With regard to parents’ anxiety levels, 4% resulted as null, 18% were low, 56% were moderate, and 22% were exacerbated; children’s anxiety level results were: 52% light, 44% intermediate, and 4% intense. Anxiety levels related to instruments/equipment were, in descending order: carpule syringe > paediatric forceps > dental explorer > x-ray machine > rubber dam punch > high speed handpiece > rubber dam forceps > mouth mirror > clinical tweezers > dental chair. No correlation was found between parents’ anxiety levels and those of their children (p=0.546).
Conclusion The instruments/equipment used in the assessment generated different anxiety levels in the children. No correlation was found between parents’ anxiety levels and those of their children.