Title: Attitudes of Swedish dentists to pain and pain management during dental treatment of children and adolescents
Abstract: Aim This was to investigate the attitudes of Swedish general dental practitioners (GDPs) to pain perception in children and adolescents using a questionnaire survey. Their practice of pain control for dental treatment were also investigated. Methods A questionnaire was sent to a random sample of 700 Swedish GDPs. Of these 421 (61%) were included in the analysis. Results About half of the dentists were of the opinion that children have difficulties in telling the difference between pain and discomfort and one third thought that young children report pain with some or great uncertainty. Swedish dentists tend to under use both local analgesia, analgesics and sedatives for pain management during dental treatment. Many dentists found it stressful to give local analgesia to preschool children. The results also showed that a group of dentists, about 35%, were more indifferent to their patientís experiences of pain and psychological management. Despite these results, experienced Swedish GDPs find little need for continuing education in pain management and local analgesia. Conclusions Swedish GDPs under use local analgesia, analgesics and sedatives during dental treatment of children and adolescents. There is need for continuing education concerning pain management and an intensified discussion of attitudes to pain and pain management when treating children and adolescents.