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Article 8 Volume 1 - A critical appraisal..


A critical appraisal of the use of tools for assessing dental fear in children

M.O. Folayan, K.A. Kolawole1

Department of Child Dental Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria and 1Department of Child Dental Health, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.



The aim of this article is to review and evaluate the uses of the various tools for assessing dental fear in the child. Method: A search and review of publications related to the various identified tools used for assessing dental anxiety in children was done. Attention was paid to the empirical findings with the main focus being the function for which the instruments were designed. The features as an ideal instrument for use in the measurement of dental fear in the child were examined. Results: The findings indicate that most of the existing tools can be appropriately used for epidemiological studies as well as for diagnostic purposes with some limitations. However, none of the existing tools are appropriately designed for determining treatment needs as well as for assessing treatment outcomes. Conclusion: It was concluded that there is a need to develop culturally sensitive instruments which would enhance the objective assessment of treatment need and treatment outcomes of dental fear in children.

Key words: Dental, Fear, Children, Appraisal, Measures

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Correspondence: M. O. Folayan

Department of Child Dental Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.