Objective: To examine the validity of a scale that uses faces as an indicator of children's dental anxiety.
Setting: Department of Child Dental Health waiting room, Newcastle Dental Hospital.
Subjects and methods: 100 children (aged 3-18 years) completed the Facial Image Scale (FIS) and the Venham Picture Test (VPT) in the dental hospital waiting room.
Results: A strong correlation (0.7) was found between the two scales, indicating good validity for the FIS. Findings also showed that a small, but significant, number of children are anxious in the dental context.
Conclusion: The findings suggest that the FIS is a valid means of assessing child dental anxiety status in a clinical context.