European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 200–204 | Cite as

Influence of parental presence on the child’s perception of, and behaviour, during dental treatment

  • I. C. J. CoxEmail author
  • J. B. Krikken
  • J. S. J. Veerkamp


AIM: To analyse the influence of the presence of the parent in the dental operatory on their child’s behaviour during dental treatment. METHODS: This study was a randomised controlled trial performed in a secondary paediatric dental care clinic. The child’s perception of the dental treatment and its behaviour during treatment according to the parent and dentist were compared with parental presence in the operatory as independent variable. Age and dental anxiety were also calculated as co-variable. The child’s perception of the treatment was assessed using the Wong-Baker Faces Rating Scale. The behaviour of the child according to parent and dentist was measured using Venham’s (modified) clinical rating of anxiety and cooperative behaviour. Statistical analysis was performed using Mann Whitney U tests and Independent Samples T Test. RESULTS: 90 children participated (50% girls, mean age 6,21 years old, SD ± 1.56). During the habituation session child’s behaviour was better according to the dentist when the parents were not present in the operatory during treatment (p<0.01). There were no significant differences in a child’s perception of the treatment in relation to parental presence or absence. Dentally anxious children behaved better according to the parent (treatment session 2) and the dentist (habituation session and treatment session 2) when the parent was not present in the operatory (p<0.05). CONCLUSION: Relying on a child’s perception of dental treatment, a made no difference whether the child was treated with or without the parent(s) in the dental operatory. For anxious children it was mainly the dentist who was aware of the disadvantages of the parental presence.


Behaviour management parental presence child’s perception 


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Copyright information

© European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. C. J. Cox
    • 1
    Email author
  • J. B. Krikken
    • 1
  • J. S. J. Veerkamp
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of CEPAcademisch Centrum Tandheelkunde AmsterdamLA AmsterdamThe Netherlands

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