Dental anxiety is very common; however, there is a lack of studies focusing on reducing children’s dental anxiety. One such initiative, the guided self-help cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) resources ‘Your teeth, you are in control’, reduces dental anxiety in children attending paediatric dentistry clinics. This service evaluation aims to investigate whether such CBT resources reduce children’s dental anxiety when implemented in general dental practice. A convenience sample of children was given the resources by their dental practitioner. There was no control group. Children completed the Children’s Experiences of Dental Anxiety Measure (CEDAM) prior to using the resources and on completion of a course of dental treatment. Overall, 84 children were involved, with a mean age of 10.9 years; 48 were female and 59 were living in the most deprived area of England. At baseline the mean CEDAM score was 20.3, and on receiving the resource and completing treatment the mean CEDAM score was 16.4, showing a significant reduction in dental anxiety (t = 14.6, (df
= 83), p
< 0.001, 95% CI: 3.4–4.4). The items that improved the most were worry over having dental treatment and dental treatment being painful. The service evaluation indicates a reduction in child dental anxiety following the use of CBT resources in general practice. Further evaluation, preferably a randomised controlled trial, is needed.
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