Dental treatment duration as an indicator of the behavior of 3- to 9- year-old pediatric patients in clinical dental settings
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Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the age-specific effect of treatment duration on pediatric patient behavior. Methods and Materials: A total of 450 children 3 to 9 years of age were allocated into six consecutive age groups (n=75 for each group). All children received dental treatment procedures which included the fabrication of a Type 1 composite resin restoration, then a dental prophylaxis followed by fluoride therapy with each procedure requiring an average of 20 minutes. The children's behavior was evaluated at the end of each treatment period using the sound, eye, and motor (SEM) scale. Results: The results of a mixed analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated a significant main effect of treatment duration, F (1.69, 255.01) = 188.29, P < 0.001, and of chronological age, F (1, 144) = 115.82, P < 0.001. Moreover, the main effects of time and chronological age was qualified by a significant interaction between time and chronological age, F (8.86, 255.01) = 115.82, P < 0.001. The beta weights (0.64 for age versus 0.44 for time) suggest chronological age contributes the most to predicting the behavior of children during dental treatment followed by the duration of treatment. Conclusion: Treatment duration may affect the behavior of pediatric patients parallel with chronological age and, thus, should be considered in the arrangement of the treatment plan. Clinical Significance: The findings of this study suggest appropriate pediatric behavior management should include thoughtful scheduling of appointments according to a treatment plan formulated with consideration of the effects of age and appointment length. é 2009 Seer Publishing LLC.
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