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J Clin Pediatr Dent. 2000 Fall;25(1):1-7.

Child behavior in a private pediatric dental practice associated with types of visits, age and socio-economic factors.

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School of Dentistry, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland, 1001 North Point Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.


The purpose of this study was to describe child patient behavior patterns seen in a private pediatric dental practice. Patient behavior for every individual visit was recorded over a span of 3 consecutive months using the Sarnat Behavior Scale as the descriptive measurement device. Behavior during 5 categories of procedures was recorded: new patient examination/introduction to the office, periodic recare, restorative dentistry, orthodontic adjustment and quick check observation. Socio-demographic variables such as age, sex, method of payment as an indicator of socio-economic status, prior dental experience and referral source were also recorded. The results of this study showed: 1. the younger the child and the more threatening the procedure, the more often negative behavior was noted, 2. patients whose dental treatment was paid for by Medicaid and who are likely to be in a lower socio-economic strata, often exhibited more negative behavior than the fee-for service counterparts, 3. in general, there was no difference in the behavior between males and females, although males age 8 to 12 had a higher incidence of negative behavior than females when undergoing restorative dental procedures. There are trends between age, type of procedure, source of patient referral, method of payment and familiarity with the office, that may be able to used as behavioral predictors in a private pediatric dental office.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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