Title: Influencing factors of paediatric dental anxiety levels in an undergraduate dental clinic
Abstract: Aim To examine the nature of dental anxiety in paediatric patients, and to identify factors relevant to paediatric dental anxiety in a sample of 5 to 17 year-old children residing in Cairns, Australia.
Materials and methods A convenient sample of 125 children, their parents and corresponding student practitioners were selected. Each was assessed with questionnaires.
Results A higher level of dental anxiety was seen in children who were subject to radiographic examination as part of their treatment (b=0.462; p=0.012). Similarly, children of Asian ethnicity showed higher dental anxiety levels than their Caucasian counterparts (b=1.187; p=0.010). Finally, the childrens’ overall dental anxiety levels decreased after being treated by student practitioners (t=2.311;df=124; p=0.022).
Conclusion Children experienced greater anxiety before receiving dental treatment than after. Treatment involving radiographic examination exacerbated dental anxiety and children of Asian descent were more anxious prior to receiving treatment. Further investigation is indicated.