Dental fear & anxiety and dental pain in children and adolescents; a systemic review

  • Shim, Youn-Soo (Department of Dental Hygiene, College of Health Science, Sunmoon University) ;
  • Kim, Ah-Hyeon (Department of dentistry, Dental spa Clinic) ;
  • Jeon, Eun-Young (Department of Dental Hygiene, College of Health Science, NamSeoul University) ;
  • An, So-Youn (Department of Pediatric dentistry, College of Dentistry, Wonkwang University)
  • 투고 : 2015.06.19
  • 심사 : 2015.07.03
  • 발행 : 2015.06.30


Background: There are few previous studies investigating the relationship of dental fear and anxiety (DFA) with dental pain among children and adolescents. To address this issue, we examined the literature published between November 1873 and May 2015 to evaluate the prevalence of DFA and dental pain among children and adolescents, and their relationships with age and sex. Methods: We performed a broad search of the PubMed database using 3 combinations of the search terms dental fear, anxiety, and dental pain and prevalence. A large proportion of the identified articles could not be used for the review due to inadequate end points or measures, or because of poor study design. Thirty-two papers of acceptable quality were identified and reviewed. Results: We found that the prevalence of DFA was estimated to be 10%, with a decrease in prevalence with age. It was more frequently seen in girls, and was related to dental pain. Conclusions: We concluded that dental fear, anxiety, and pain are common, and several psychological factors are associated with their development. In order to better understand these relationships, further clinical evaluations and studies are required.


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