Factors that Determine Child Behavior during Dental Treatment

Open access


In this review paper we wanted to summarize all the aspects which could affect the behavior of the child patients in the dental office. At the beginning, the factors that are related to the child patients are mentioned. Various segments of child psychological, cognitive, physiological and other kinds of development are discussed. Also, the reasons for dental fear and anxiety (DFA) and dental behavior problems (DBP) were analyzed, and how the child dental patients could cope with them. Finally, types of patients according to their behavior in the dental office were discussed. Furthermore, the influences of child patients’ parents were studied, including parenting styles, as well as factors related to dentist, dental team and the dental office. Finally, critical evaluation of administration of assets to measure the presence of DFA and DBP is provided. Every part of the text was corroborated by the results from our own and other authors’ recent bibliography data.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • 1. Zarevski P Škrinjarić I Vranić A. Psihologija za stomatologe. Jastrebarsko: Naklada Slap; 2005.

  • 2. Essau CA Ollendick TH (editors). The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of the treatment of childhood and adolescent anxiety. New Delhi: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.; 2013.

  • 3. Liddell A Gosse V. Characteristics of early unpleasant dental experiences. J Behav Ther & Exp Psychiat 1998; 29:227-237.

  • 4. Ost LG. Age of onset in different phobias. J Abnorm Psychol 1987; 96(3):223-229.

  • 5. Locker D Liddell A Dempster L Shapiro D. Age of Onset of Dental Anxiety. J Dent Res 1999; 78(3):790-796.

  • 6. Bajrić E. Evaluation of dental fear and anxiety in children of different age groups [Master Thesis]. Sarajevo: University of Sarajevo Faculty of Dentistry 2010.

  • 7. Bajrić E. Analysis of dental fear and anxiety during administration of different versions of Dental subscale of Children’s fear survey schedule [PhD Thesis]. Sarajevo: University of Sarajevo Faculty of Dentistry 2014.

  • 8. Klingberg G Raadal M Arnrup K. Dental fear and behavior management problems. In: Koch G Poulsen S (editors). Pediatric Dentistry. A Clinical Approach. Second edition. Chapter 4. Oxford; Wiley-Blackwell 2009.

  • 9. Gustafsson A Broberg A Bodin L Berggren U Arnrup K. Dental behaviour management problems: the role of child personal characteristics. Int J Paediatr Dent 2010; 20:242-253.

  • 10. Klingberg G. Dental anxiety and behaviour management problems in paediatric dentistry-a review of background factors and diagnostics. Eur Arch Paediatr Dent 2008; 9 (Suppl. 1):11-15.

  • 11. Van Meurs P Howard KE Versloot J Veerkamp JSJ Freeman R. Child coping strategies dantal anxiety and dental treatment: the influence of age gender and childhood prevalence. Eur Arch Paediatr Dent 2005 Dec;6(4):173-8.

  • 12. Ray J Wide Boman U Bodin L Berggren U Lichtenstein P Broberg AG. Heritability of Dental Fear. J Dent Res 2010 89(3):297-301.

  • 13. Marsac ML. Relationships among Psychological Functioning Dental Anxiety Pain Perception and Coping in Children and Adolescents [PhD Thesis]. Toledo: University of Toledo 2008.

  • 14. Versloot J Veerkamp JSJ Hoogstraten J Martens LC. Children’s coping with pain during dental care. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2004; 32:456-461.

  • 15. Larochette AC Chambers CT Craig KD. Genuine suppressed and faked facial expressions of pain in children. Pain 2006; 126:64-71.

  • 16. van Wijk AJ Hoogstraten J. Experience with Dental Pain and Fear of Dental Pain. J Dent Res 2005; 84(10):947-950.

  • 17. Versloot J Veerkamp JSJ Hoogstraten J. Children’s selfreported pain at the dentist. Pain 2008; 137(2):389-94.

  • 18. Krikken JB Veerkamp JSJ. Child rearing styles dental anxiety and disruptive behaviour; an exploratory study. Eur Arch Paediatr Dent 2008; 9 (Suppl. 1):23-28.

  • 19. Aoyagi-Naka K Koda A Kawakami T Karibe H. Factors affecting psychological stress in children who cooperate with dental treatment: a pilot study. Eur Arch Paediatr Dent 2013; 14(4):263-268.

  • 20. Freeman R. A fearful child attends: a psychoanalytic explanation of children’s responses to dental treatment. Int J Paediatr Dent 2007; 17:407-418.

  • 21. Milgrom P Weinstein P Getz T. Treating fearful dental patient. A patient management handbook. 2nd edition revised. Seattle: University of Washington 1995.

  • 22. McDonald RE Avery DR Dean JA. Dentistry for the child and adolescent. 8th edition. St. Louis: Mosby 2004.

  • 23. Pinkham JR Casamassimo PS Fields HW McTigue DJ Nowak AJ. Pediatric dentistry Infancy through adolescence. 4th edition. St. Louis: Elsevier Saunders 2005.

  • 24. Beloica D. Dečja stomatologija. Beograd: Elit Medica 2003.

  • 25. Jurić H (urednik). Dječja dentalna medicina. Jastrebarsko: Naklada Slap 2015.

  • 26. Oosterink FM de Jongh A Aartman IH. What are people afraid of during dental treatment? Anxiety-provoking capacity of 67 stimuli characteristic of the dental setting. Eur J Oral Sci 2008; 116(1):44-51.

  • 27. Moore R Brødsgaard I. Dentists’ perceived stress and its relation to perceptions about anxious patients. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2001; 29(1):73-80.

  • 28. Davidovich E Pessov Y Baniel A Ram D. Levels of Stress among General Practitioners Students and Specialists In Pediatric Dentistry during Dental Treatment. J Clin Padiatr Dent 2015; 39(5):419-422.

  • 29. Rønneberg A Strøm K Skaare AB Willumsen T Espelid I. Dentists’ self-perceived stress and difficulties when performing restorative treatment in children. Eur Arch Paediatr Dent 2015; 16(4):341-347.

  • 30. Önçağ O Ersin NK Çicek S Çoğulu D. Behavioural Changes of Young Uncooperative Children Undergoing Dental Treatment in the Clinic versus Under General Anaesthesia. Balk J Dent Med 2007;11(2):116-122

  • 31. Strøm K Rønneberg A Skaare AB Espelid I Willumsen T. Dentists’ use of behavioural management techniques and their attitudes towards treating paediatric patients with dental anxiety. Eur Arch Paediatr Dent 2015; 16(4):349-355.

  • 32. Klingberg G Broberg AG. Dental fear/anxiety and dental behavior management problems in children and adolescents: a review of prevalence and concomitant psychological factors. Int J Paediatr Dent 2007; 17: 391-406.

  • 33. Rachman S. The conditioning theory of fear acquisition: a critical examination. Behav Res Ther 1977; 15:375-387.

  • 34. Langley AK Bergman RL Piacentini JC. Assessment of childhood anxiety. Int Rev Psychiatry 2002; 14:102-113.

  • 35. Luoto A Tolvanen M Rantavuori K Pohiola V Lahti S. Can parents and children evaluate each other’s dental fear? Eur J Oral Sci 2010; 118(3):254-258.

  • 36. Gustafsson A Arnrup K Broberg AG Bodin L Berggren U. Child dental fear as measured with the Dental Subscale of the Children’s Fear Survey Schedule: the impact of referral status and type of informant (child versus parent). Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2010; 38:256-266.

  • 37. Krikken JB Van Wijk AJ Ten Cate JM Veerkamp JSJ. Measuring dental fear using the CFSS-DS. Do children and parents agree? Int J Paediatr Dent 2013; 23:94-100.

  • 38. de Oliveira VJ da Costa LR Marcelo VC Lima AR. Mothers’ perceptions of children’s refusal to undergo dental treatment: an exploratory qualitative study. Eur J Oral Sci 2006; 114(6):471-477.

  • 39. Wondimu B Dahllöf G. Attitudes of Swedish dentists to pain and pain management during dental treatment of children and adolescents. Eur Arch Paediatr Dent 2005; 6(2):66-72.

  • 40. Murtomaa H Milgrom P Weinstein P Vuopio T. Dentists’ perceptions and management of pain experienced by children during treatment: a survey of groups of dentists in the USA and Finland. Int J Paediatr Dent 1996; 6:25-30.

  • 41. Rasmussen JK Frederiksen JA Hallonsten AL Poulsen S. Danish dentists’ knowledge attitudes and management of procedural dental pain in children: association with demographic characteristics structural factors perceived stress during the administration of local analgesia and their tolerance towards pain. Int J Paediatr Dent 2005; 15:159-168.

  • 42. Klaassen M Veerkamp J Hoogstraten J. Predicting dental anxiety. The clinical value of anxiety questionnaires: an explorative study. Eur J Paediatr Dent 2003; 4(4):171-176.

  • 43. Arapostathis KN Coolidge T Emmanouil D Kotsanos N. Reliability and validity of the Greek version of the Children’s Fear Survey Schedule-Dental Subscale. Int J Paediatr Dent 2008; 18(5):374-379.

  • 44. Yamada MKM Tanabe Y Sano T Noda T. Cooperation during dental treatment: the Children’s Fear Survey Schedule in Japanese children. Int J Paediatr Dent 2002; 12:404-409.

  • 45. Klingberg G. Reliability and validity of the Swedish version of the Dental Subscale of the Children’s Fear Survey Schedule CFSS-DS. Acta Odontol Scand 1994; 52:255-256.

Journal information
Cited By
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 1429 753 51
PDF Downloads 899 637 60