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Children's perception of dentist and clinical environment – An observational study

 Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, King Khalid University College of Dentistry, Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Tasneem Sakinatul Ain,
Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, King Khalid University College of Dentistry, Abha
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjhs.sjhs_17_20

Objective: The objective of the study is to understand the attitude and perceptions of children toward dentists, dental treatment, and clinical environment. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted where pictorial questionnaires were distributed among 498 children, within the age range of 3–14 years, who visited dental clinics in Aseer region of Saudi Arabia. Fisher's exact and Chi-square tests were applied to the collected data. Results: A majority (59.6%) of the children did like their visit to the dentists. About 63.1% of children preferred to be treated by a female dentist, and 53% of them liked their dentists wearing a colored coat. Female children were found to have significantly more positive responses toward protective gear of dentist and dental experience as compared to the males. Further, 9–11 years of children had more positive responses than the other children of different age groups. Conclusions: It was observed that most of the children liked visiting the clinics, and their siblings also shared their positive experience during dental treatment. However, children are found to fear the dental treatment procedure, especially the use of syringes. Fear toward dentists and clinical environment can be curbed using engaging dental practices. Children are found to be strongly affected by the gender and appearance of the dentists.

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