Oral cleanliness of dentally anxious schoolchildren and their need for periodontal treatment.

R. Bedi, P. Sutcliffe, P. T. Donnan, J. McConnachie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between self-reported dental anxiety and the oral cleanliness and periodontal treatment need in Scottish secondary schoolchildren. One thousand one hundred and three children participated in the study, mean age 14 years (sd 0.35 years), and the prevalence of high dental anxiety was 7.1 percent (95 percent CI = 5.6 percent, 8.6 percent). In examining the hypothesis that anxious children are more likely to have 'cleaner' mouths in an attempt to avoid future dental treatment, it was found that children with high dental anxiety or general fear had similar overall oral cleanliness (mean debris score and CPITN) to their contemporaries. However, dentally anxious children have less contact with the dental team; that is, they were more likely to defer or cancel dental appointments. Gender and social class were more significant variables in the presence and absence of disease with regard to CPITN than were either dental or general anxiety. It is concluded that no difference could be detected regarding the periodontal treatment needs between those children who have or have not a self reported high dental anxiety. In addition the periodontal needs of the majority of this age-group (64 percent) and those with high dental anxiety (74 percent) can be treated with simple non-invasive dental procedures, which can be carried outside the context of a dental surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-21
Number of pages5
JournalASDC Journal of Dentistry for Children
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Dentistry(all)


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