Cognitive ability and dental fear and anxiety.Eur J Oral Sci. 2013 Apr; 121(2):117-20.EJ
Dental fear and anxiety (DFA), as well as dental behavior management problems, are common in children and adolescents. Several psychological factors in the child, and parental DFA, have been studied and found to correlate to the child's DFA. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between cognitive ability and DFA in a population-based group of children with identified behavior and learning problems. In conjunction with a dental examination at 11 yr of age, 70 children were assessed with regard to DFA using the Children's Fear Survey Schedule Dental Subscale (CFSS-DS), and their cognitive ability was assessed using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. In addition, parental DFA was measured using the Corah Dental Anxiety Scale. The results revealed that DFA was significantly correlated to verbal intelligence quotient (IQ) but not to any other cognitive index. A significant correlation was found between parental DFA and child DFA. The results indicate that the child's verbal capacity may be one factor of importance in explaining dental fear in children.