European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry

, Volume 15, Issue 5, pp 333–339 | Cite as

Parental acceptance of behaviour-management techniques used in paediatric dentistry and its relation to parental dental anxiety and experience

  • V. BokaEmail author
  • K. Arapostathis
  • N. Vretos
  • N. Kotsanos
Original Scientific Article



The aim of this study was to examine the acceptance by Greek parents of nine behaviour-management techniques and its association with several possible confounding factors.

Study design

Following ethical approval, 106 parents whose 3- to 12-year-old children had been receiving treatment in a university postgraduate paediatric dental clinic, and 123 parents of children from a private paediatric dental practice agreed to participate.


After being shown a video with nine behaviour-management techniques, parents rated the acceptance of each technique on a 0–10 scale. They were then asked to complete a questionnaire about demographics, their previous dental experience and dental anxiety (modified Corah dental anxiety scale).


The best accepted technique was tell–show–do (9.76 ± 0.69), followed by parental presence/absence (PPA) technique (7.83 ± 3.06) and nitrous oxide inhalation sedation (7.09 ± 3.02). The least accepted techniques were passive restraint (4.21 ± 3.84) and general anaesthesia (4.21 ± 4.02). No correlations were found between acceptance of any individual management technique and parental age, gender, income, education, dental experience and dental anxiety or the child’s age, gender and dental experience. Parents whose children had been treated at the University clinic had lower income and educational levels, and rated passive restraint, oral sedation and general anaesthesia higher than those from the private practice. When the parents were specifically asked to choose between general anaesthesia over any of the active or passive restraint, hand-over-mouth and voice control techniques, 10 % preferred general anaesthesia, and these parents reported statistically significant more negative dental experience but not higher dental anxiety.


Statistical significance of differences was explored using the Tukey–Kramer method.


There was no correlation between parental dental experience and dental anxiety and the acceptance of any specific behaviour-management technique. However, parents with negative dental experience would prefer general anaesthesia over any of active or passive restraint, hand-over-mouth and voice control techniques. PPA is a highly acceptable technique for Greek parents.


Acceptance Behaviour-management techniques Child Parent Dental anxiety Dental experience Parental presence/absence technique 



We are grateful to Dr. Eaton for his information on the video and the questionnaire used in their study in the USA. We express our thanks to Professor Guinot Jimeno for providing us the video and the questionnaire used in their study in Spain.


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Copyright information

© European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Boka
    • 1
    Email author
  • K. Arapostathis
    • 1
  • N. Vretos
    • 2
  • N. Kotsanos
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Paediatric Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, School of DentistryAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessaloníkiGreece
  2. 2.Centre for Research and Technology Hellas, Information Technologies InstituteThessaloníkiGreece

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