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Dent. J. 2018, 6(4), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/dj6040060

The Influence of Stress and Anxiety on the Expectation, Perception and Memory of Dental Pain in Schoolchildren

1
Centre of Studies, Policies and Information on Social Determinants of Health, National School of Public Health, Oswaldo Cruz, Foundation, Rio de Janeiro 21041-210, Brazil
2
Academic Unit of Oral Health, Dentistry and Society, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TA, UK
3
Academia Brasileira de Ciências e Artes Orientais, Av Nossa Senhora de Copacabana, 928, 5º andar, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro 22060-002, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 June 2018 / Revised: 14 September 2018 / Accepted: 11 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychosocial Impacts of Dental Conditions in Childhood)
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Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the association of stress and anxiety with the expectation, perception and memory of dental pain among schoolchildren. A follow-up study involving 46 children aged 9 to 12 years was conducted in a public school in the city of Petropolis (RJ), Brazil. Demographic characteristics, stress (children’s stress scale), and state and trait anxiety (state–trait anxiety inventory) were recorded before a dental procedure to restore the occlusal surface of a permanent first molar under local anaesthetic. Dental pain was assessed using the faces pain scale before (dental pain expectation), immediately after (dental pain perception) and six weeks after (memory of dental pain) the dental procedure. Dental pain expectation scores were significantly higher than dental pain perception, independent of the levels of stress, state anxiety and trait anxiety. Children with high scores of stress (OR 1.05 95%CI 1.02–1.09), state anxiety (OR 1.15 95%CI 1.05–1.27) and trait anxiety (OR 1.18 95%CI 1.07–1.30) were more likely to report greater scores of dental pain expectation. Children anticipated more dental pain than what was actually perceived after the dental restoration. Children with greater levels of stress and anxiety have a distorted evaluation of expected dental pain before the dental procedure. View Full-Text
Keywords: paediatric dental pain; stress; state and trait anxiety paediatric dental pain; stress; state and trait anxiety
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Lamarca, G.A.; Vettore, M.V.; Monteiro da Silva, A.M. The Influence of Stress and Anxiety on the Expectation, Perception and Memory of Dental Pain in Schoolchildren. Dent. J. 2018, 6, 60.

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