Dental anxiety and behaviour management problems in paediatric dentistry--a review of background factors and diagnostics

Eur Arch Paediatr Dent. 2008 Feb:9 Suppl 1:11-5. doi: 10.1007/BF03262650.


Aim: To review the literature regarding dental anxiety and dental behaviour management in children and adolescents with regards to prevalence, measurement, and aetiological factors.

Study design: Review.

Results: Dental anxiety and dental behaviour management problems are two different concepts related to each other but not identical. Each affects approximately 9% of the child and adolescence populations and both have a multifactorial background. Aetiological factors include the dental treatment as such (mainly pain, discomfort, and perceived lack of control), general emotional status, and temperament.

Conclusions: In order to treat children and adolescents, paediatric dentists need to assess the patient in relation to both psychological, personality, and treatment aspects, and assessments may be carried out using well established methods to gain more knowledge about the individual patient.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Behavior Control*
  • Child
  • Dental Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Dental Anxiety / etiology*
  • Dental Care for Children* / psychology
  • Emotions
  • Humans
  • Pain / psychology
  • Personality
  • Temperament