Temperament and child dental fear.Pediatr Dent. 1998 Jul-Aug; 20(4):237-43.PD
The relationship between dental fear and temperament in children was investigated in 124 Swedish children aged 5-7 and 10-12 years. They represented dentally fearful (65) and not fearful (81) children, and were drawn from a larger population-based patient pod. The aims of the investigation were to study the relationships between temperament on one hand, and dental fear and dental behavior-management problems on the other hand.
Dental fear was measured by the Dental Subscale of Children's Fear Survey Schedule (CFSS-DS) and the Children's Dental Fear Picture test (CDFP), while the Emotionality, Activity, Sociability (EAS) Temperamental Survey was used to assess four aspects of temperament: negative emotionality, shyness, sociability, and activity.
Using Student's t test, children with dental fear had statistically significantly higher scores on shyness compared with normative data on EAS from Sweden. When fearful children were compared with the others in the study group by the use of Student's t test, children with dental fear scored statistically significantly higher on both shyness and negative emotionality.
Thus, children expressing shyness and/or tendencies of negative emotionality should be considered patients at risk for developing dental fear problems.