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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 47

Psychological behavior management techniques to alleviate dental fear and anxiety in 4–14-year-old children in pediatric dentistry: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry, KAHER'S KLE VK Institute of Dental Sciences, Belgaum, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shivayogi M Hugar
Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry, KAHER'S KLE VK Institute of Dental Sciences, Belgaum, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1735-3327.346405

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Child's uncooperative behavior can impede the efficient delivery of dental care. Therefore, in spite of exceeding availability of behavior management techniques there is a need to search for a psychological behavior management technique that effectively reduces fear and anxiety during dental treatment and instill a change in child's attitude toward the treatment and is also acceptable by the parents. The aim of our systematic review is to determine the efficacy of various psychological behavior management techniques in managing a child's behavior in pediatric dentistry by assessing the fear and anxiety levels, ease of use by the clinician, application in various operative procedures, and parental acceptance. A systematic search was conducted by two reviewers in databases PubMed, Google Scholar, Scopus, Web of Science, and Cochrane for the studies published from January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2020. Studies included were clinical studies which evaluated the efficacy of various psychological behavior management techniques by evaluating the fear and anxiety levels and the changes in behavior during dental treatment in children aged between 4 and 14 years. The studies selected were then assessed for quality with the help of predetermined criteria which categorized the studies into high, medium, and low. Through search strategy, 7147 articles were yielded. After screening through titles and abstracts, 60 nonduplicated articles were selected which were further screened for full text. At the end, 15 articles were included in systematic review and 3 articles for meta-analysis. It was concluded that all the psychological behavior management techniques aided in reduction of fear and anxiety. In noninvasive procedures, conventional psychological behavior management techniques can be effective but in invasive procedures other newer psychological behavior management techniques showed better results. The aspect of parental acceptance regarding various techniques was not discussed in any of the included studies.

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