Short communication: preferences of dentist's attire in a group of Istanbul school children related with dental anxiety

Eur Arch Paediatr Dent. 2009 Jan;10(1):38-41. doi: 10.1007/BF03262666.


Aim: This was to assess children's preferences for each of four different kinds of dental attire and to consider the relationship between children's preferences and levels of dental anxiety.

Methods: A group of 827 children aged 9-14 years looked at anonymised photographs and were asked to say which of four dental attires they would prefer their dentists to wear "if they had been to a dental clinic". Children's Fear Survey Schedule - Dental Subscale (CFSS-DS) was used to evaluate the children's anxiety level.

Results: Formal attire was the first preference for 45.6 % of the children (n: 377), followed by the child-friendly attire with a preference of 30.5% (n:144). There were 350 children (42.3%) who were diagnosed as anxious (CFSS-DS > or = 32) and 477 children (57.7%) were diagnosed as non-anxious (CFSS-DS <32). Anxious children were found to prefer the formal attire significantly less than non-anxious ones (p=0.010).

Conclusions: The popular view that children are fearful of white coats was not found in this survey. More children were observed to prefer the formal attire. However, the concept of "child-friendly" attire might be more appropriate for anxious children and enhance an easy first communication with them.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Clothing / psychology*
  • Dental Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Dental Anxiety / psychology
  • Dental Care for Children / methods
  • Dental Care for Children / psychology*
  • Dentist-Patient Relations*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Social Perception