Children's dental anxiety in the United Kingdom in 2003

Nigel M. Nuttall, Angela Gilbert, John Morris

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    45 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: The prevalence of dental anxiety among a representative sample of children in the UK was determined in the Children's Dental Health survey of 2003.

    Aims: This paper is concerned with the extent to which children in the United Kingdom are judged by a parent or carer to be behaviourally affected by dental anxiety and the factors associated with this.

    Method: The information was gathered by self-completion questionnaire distributed to the parents of half of the sample of children who were also clinically examined in the dental survey.

    Results: Dental anxiety that was sufficient to disrupt dental attendance was reported for around 3-4% of the four age groups surveyed (5, 8, 12 and 15 years of age). Children's dental anxiety was associated with parental dental anxiety; a greater experience of invasive dental treatment and general anaesthetic; receipt of free school meals and social class.

    Conclusions: Whilst these findings do not necessarily indicate causal relationships, they do confirm a number of co-factors associated with dental anxiety perhaps most importantly that of anxiety with the experience of general anaesthetic for tooth extractions. (C) 2008 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)857-860
    Number of pages4
    JournalJournal of Dentistry
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    • Dental anxiety
    • Children
    • Dental survey
    • FEAR


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