Three hundred and eight children aged 3-16 years (mean age 10.2), who were undergoing routine dental treatment, recorded on visual analogue scales their ratings of pain associated with injection and treatment. The injection pain scores were examined for their relationship to age, gender, time taken to administer the injection and injection type. The treatment pain scores were compared between groups who had teeth either extracted or restored, and between groups assessed by the operator as having total or partial anaesthesia. A significant inverse correlation was found between subjective injection pain and injection duration. The difference in treatment pain scores was significant between groups assessed by the operator as having total or partial anaesthesia. Inferior dental nerve blocks were rated significantly more painful than buccal infiltrations. Age, gender, and the operative procedure performed had no statistically significant relationship to the injection pain scores or treatment pain scores. The visual analogue pain scale was found to be unsuitable for use by children under 7 years of age.