Purpose: To evaluate haemodynamic changes during dental checkups and preventive treatments and establish the relationship between haemodynamic parameters and psychometric tests.
Materials and Methods: Seventy-one paediatric patients (39 boys and 32 girls ages 6 to 14 years, mean age 8.04) scheduled to receive dental procedures fulfilled the inclusion criteria for this prospective study. Anxiety was measured at three time points by using the following haemodynamic parameters: heart rate (HR), systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP) and oxygen saturation (SaO2). The Childrens Fear Survey Schedule Dental Subscale (CFSS-DS) and the Facial Image Scale (FIS) were used as psychometric tests before and after child attendance, respectively.
Results: Variations in HR and BP during dental procedures were statistically significant while SaO2 values were not. The highest mean HR, SBP and DBP values were obtained during dental procedures, while the lowest SBP and DBP were recorded at baseline. HR and BP changes (r = 0.32, P < 0.01) were statistically correlated. The most anxious children based on both CFSS-DS and FIS scales also had the highest mean HR. Changes in BP and oxygen saturation parameters were found to have no relationship with anxiety groups in either scale.
Conclusions: Dental checkups and preventive treatments cause significant changes in HR and BP. However, the CFSS-DS questionnaire does not adequately predict these changes.
Keywords: dental anxiety, dental checkups, dental fear, haemodynamic changes, prevention