Prevalence of dental anxiety and fear among five to ten year old children: a behaviour based cross sectional study.Minerva Stomatol. 2012 Mar; 61(3):83-9.MS
Dental anxiety and fear pose a considerable challenge for the practice of clinical dentistry as these are problematic entities in the management of child patients and present a potential barrier to the utilization of oral health care services. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of dental anxiety and fear among the 5-10 years aged Indian child population.
A total of 523 children aged 5-10 years and their parents, visiting Krishna Dental College, Ghaziabad, India were finally recruited in this study. Dental Fear/anxiety distribution in the children was studied using the Indian parent's version of the Dental Subscale of the Children's Fear Survey Schedule (CFSS-DS). Total fear scores were calculated separately for boys and girls and at different age levels. The collected data was statistically analyzed using a SPSS statistical program.
The estimated prevalence of dental anxiety among 5 to 10 year old children in the study population was 6.3%. The overall median CFSS-DS score was 23 and the overall mean value of CFSS-DS score was 24. The prevalence of dental anxiety in children aged 5 years was 7.9%, 7.1% for 6 years old, 6.6% in 7 years old, 6.5% in 8 years old, 6.3% for 9 year old children and 5.8% in children aged 10 years. No statistically significant gender differences were found in the dental anxiety scores. The most fear provoking situations were the sight of injections, the drilling procedures by the dentist, touch of a stranger and noise of drilling by the dentist.
The results of this study indicate the need for preventive health education and intervention programmes in India to prevent and reduce dental anxiety/fear and to promote children's oral health.