The effect of sequential dental visits on dental anxiety levels of paediatric patients

Eur J Paediatr Dent. 2023 Dec 1;24(4):277 - 280. doi: 10.23804/ejpd.2023.1848. Epub 2023 Jun 1.


Aim: The aim of the present study is to evaluate the relationship between sequential visits in dental caries treatments and dental anxiety levels of paediatric patients through the use of anxiety scales and physiological measurements.

Methods: A total of 224 children aged 5-8 years who needed at least two bilateral restorative dental caries treatments of the mandibular first primary molar was included in the study. The treatment duration was approximately 20 minutes and time span between the two appointments was a maximum of two weeks. The Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale (WBFPS) and The Modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS) were used for subjective measurements and the objective measurement of dental anxiety was performed by measuring the heart rate using a portable pulse oximeter. Statistical analysis was carried out using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 22 (IBM corp. Armonk, NY, USA).

Results: Out of the 224 children, 117 were girls (mean age 6.4 ± 1.1 years) and 107 were boys (mean age 6.1 ± 1.2 years). The mean age of the patients was 6.26 ± 1.147 years, ranging from 5 to 8. There were no statistical significant differences between children’s age and genders with dental anxiety. However, there were statistical significant differences for the variables regarding the sequential visits. When comparing the MDAS scores statistically significant differences were observed between the first and second visits (p<0.001). Both preoperative and postoperative WBFPS scores were significantly higher at the first visit than at the second visit. Statistically significant differences were observed in the heart rate scores between the treatment sessions (p<0.001).

Conclusion: The results of this study show a significant reduction in dental anxiety after sequental dental visits in children aged 5-8 years, which highlights the importance of the sequental visits in paediatric dentistry.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Dental Anxiety*
  • Dental Care
  • Dental Caries* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Molar
  • Pediatric Dentistry