Dental fear and its related factors among patients managed in a paediatric dental clinic of a university hospital in Tanzania
Objective: This study aimed to determine the prevalence of dental fear and its related factors among patients managed in a pediatric dental clinic of a university hospital in Tanzania.
Material and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study carried out at the paediatric dental clinic of the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences
(MUHAS) between November 2018 and April 2019. It included all paediatric dental patients aged between 6 and 12 years. A questionnaire used in this study captured information regarding patient's socio-demographic characteristics and the number of previous visits to the dental clinic. A fifteen-item Children's Fear Survey Schedule - Dental Subscale (CFSS-DS) was used to assess the dental fear status in these pediatric patients.
Results: A total of 223 paediatric dental patients aged between 6 years and 12 years were included in the study. The mean age of participants was 9.52 ± 1.74 years with a male to female ratio ofl: 1.04. The means CFSS-DS score was 31.1 ± 8.57. Fear scores were high for Injections (3.37 ± 1.13), a stranger's touch (2.81 ± 1.08) and choking (2.69 ± 0.99). The presence of dental fear was found to be significantly associated with the parents' education level (p=0.001) and previous dental visits (p < 0.001 ).
Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that the prevalence of paediatric dental fear was low among the participants of this study. The education level of parents and previous dental visits were determinants of dental fear in children. Injections, being touched by strangers, and choking were the common fear-provoking factors.
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