European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 15–19 | Cite as

Dental anxiety and dental pain in 5- to 12-year-old children in Recife, Brazil

  • V. Colares
  • C. FrancaEmail author
  • A. Ferreira
  • H. A. Amorim Filho
  • M. C. A. Oliveira
Original Scientific Article



Dental anxiety is a common problem, related to dental pain, which contributes to irregular dental attendance and avoidance of dental care, resulting in poorer oral health during childhood.


To evaluate anxiety, pain and/or discomfort related to dental treatment in 5- to 12-year-old children examined during a public holiday.


This cross-sectional survey study was carried out with parental permission in 970 children of both sexes. Socio-economic status, dental anxiety and dental pain experience data were obtained through a questionnaire answered by parents or guardians. Dental anxiety was measured using the dental anxiety questionnaire (DAQ). The statistical analyses were performed using Pearson’s Chi-square test. The intra-examiner agreement was high (κ = 0.80) and the inter-examiner was κ = 0.79.


The prevalence of dental anxiety was 39.4 % and that of a history of dental pain was 44.9 %. Dental anxiety among children was associated with the child never having had a dental appointment.


The anxiety correlated positively with a history of dental pain (p < 0.001), the mother’s low level of schooling (p = 0.037), parents’ dental anxiety (p < 0.001), and negatively with visits to the dentist (p < 0.001).


A high percentage of children presented with dental anxiety and a history of dental pain.


Dental anxiety Toothache Child 



We acknowledge with thanks the support given by CAPES (Brazilian Government Research Agency) and FACEPE (Brazilian Foundation for Research) for the PhD fellowship.


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Copyright information

© European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Colares
    • 1
  • C. Franca
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. Ferreira
    • 1
  • H. A. Amorim Filho
    • 1
  • M. C. A. Oliveira
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Paediatric DentistryUniversity of PernambucoRecifeBrazil

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