Dental fear in primary school children and its relation to dental caries
Background: Successful management of dental fear in children prevents its progression into adulthood. This study aimed to assess the level of dental fear among school children and to determine its relationship with dental caries. The study design was a cross‑sectional analytical study.
Materials and Methods: A sample of 1,546 primary school children were randomly selected. The Children’s Fear Survey Schedule–Dental Subscale (CFSS‑DS) was completed in class to assess child dental fear. Caries experience was measured as decayed, missed, and filled permanent and primary teeth (DMFT/dmft) according to the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria.
Results: Approximately 24% of the participated children had high dental fear, and 12.50% of them had severe dental fear. Girls had higher rate of severe dental fear than boys (20% vs. 5%). The severity of caries was significantly increased in children who had higher fear scores (P = 0.035).
Conclusion: About one quarter of 6‑ to 12‑year‑old children had dental fear; about half of them had severe dental fear. Dental fear has a direct relationship with decayed permanent teeth and an inverse relationship with restored permanent teeth.
Keywords: Children’s Fear Survey Schedule–Dental Subscale , child dental fear, dental caries, prevalence