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Acta Odontol Scand. 2011 Nov;69(6):410-6. doi: 10.3109/00016357.2011.572561. Epub 2011 Apr 27.

Dental anxiety in 6-7-year-old children treated in accordance with conventional restorative treatment, ART and ultra-conservative treatment protocols.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Dentistry, School of Health Sciences, University of Brasília, Brazil.



To test the hypothesis that dental anxiety levels of children treated in accordance with the conventional restorative treatment (CRT) are higher than in children treated with the atraumatic restorative treatment (ART) or ultra-conservative treatment (UCT) protocols.


In total, 302 children aged 6-7-years old, with at least two dentine carious lesions, constituted the sample. A parallel group study design was used with ART and UCT as test groups and CRT as the control. The treatment was divided into two sessions. In the first session, one carious tooth (class II in a primary molar) was randomly selected and treated according to one of the treatments. All other treatments were performed in the second session. Before the first (FIS Tx-1) and before the second session (FIS Tx-2) the level of dental anxiety was assessed using the Facial Image Scale (FIS). The GLM test and Spearman's Rank Correlation Coefficient were used to analyse the data.


No treatment group effect was observed on the FIS Tx-2 score (p = 0.64). A FIS Tx-1 score (p < 0.0001) effect on the FIS Tx-2 score was observed. The correlation coefficient between FIS Tx-1 and FIS Tx-2 scores was r = 0.30 (p < 0.0001).


At the beginning of the second session there was no difference in dental anxiety levels of the children treated in the first session according to the three treatment protocols. A high dental anxiety score before the first session was a predictor of a high dental anxiety score at the second treatment session.

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