2014 issue 1

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Volume 23, issue 1

Review article

Anxiety associated with a visit to the children and youth at the dentist – a subjective assessment methods

Hanna Sobczak-Zagalska1,2, Małgorzata Peplińska1, Katarzyna Emerich1,2
1. Poradnia Stomatologii Dziecięcej i Rodzinnej Uniwersyteckiego Centrum, Stomatologicznego GUMed, Gdańsk, Polska
2. Katedra i Zakład Stomatologii Wieku Rozwojowego GUMed, Gdańsk, Polska
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 23 (2014) 47–52
Date of publication: 29-03-2014
DOI: /10.1016/j.pin.2014.03.006
Keywords: Pediatrics dentistry, Children, Evaluation methods, Dental fear, Dental phobia, Dental anxiety

Abstract

Aim: The objectives of this article are to approach the problem of dental fear in children
and adolescents, which is met by dentists in dental practices and to describe the
methods of its evaluation. There are objective and subjective methods for the asses-
sment of the intensity of dental anxiety. These methods can be useful for treatment
planning in anxious patients. Overview: The dental fear and anxiety of a child patient
which is associated with a dental appointment may take many different forms. An ade-
quate evaluation of the behaviour of a child patient in the dental treatment is very
important at the very first contact with the dentist, as it allows the dental team to
choose the right method. In dental practices especially those, who do not specialize in
pediatric dentistry, may barely have skills sufficient to properly evaluate the behaviour
of a young patient. This results in the selection of inappropriate methods of conduct
with a child, during the first appointment, the consequence of which is a lack of coope-
ration during treatments, present and future. Conclusions: Dentists lacking abilities and
experience to assess patients' behaviour, should considering a wider variety of evalua-
tion methods for dental anxiety in children and adolescents. A proper relationship bet-
ween dentist and patient will have a positive influence on children's attitudes in dental
treatment and will improve the comfort of work and increase the effectiveness of the
treatment.

Address for correspondence:
Katedra i Zaklad Stomatologii Wieku Rozwojowego GUMed, ul. Orzeszkowej 18, 80-208 Gdańsk, Polska.
Tel.: +48 58 349 21 03.
Adres email: emerich@gumed.edu.pl (K. Emerich).