AbstractChildren that arrive at dental offices with fear and anxiety usually tend to resist conditioning mechanisms. The aim this study was to evaluate children’s perception about dental treatment and to identify factors that influence this perception. Material and Methods: A random sample of 100 children of both genders aged 3 to 12, who were treated at the Department of Dentistry of a University (group I) and at a Children’s Hospital (group II), was selected. A structured questionnaire about the child’s perception about dental care was applied and the children were asked to draw a picture of this topic. Most of children expressed a positive perception in the questionnaire and in the drawings (93.8%). This positive perception was more pronounced in group I (94%) and in children aged 3 to 5 years (100%), particularly in girls (78%). The main cause of fear was the use of needles (42.4%). Many children (24.2%) reported to prefer the noninvasive procedures. A positive perception of dental treatment was observed in the majority of the sample. Therefore, dental pediatricians must be aware of the perception of children for better conditioning.
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