CC BY 4.0 · Eur J Dent
DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-1758784
Original Article

Exploring Preschoolers' Emotions in Pediatric Dentistry

Dyani R.N. Wadji
1   Department of Dental Studies, Faculty of Dentistry, Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung, Indonesia
Ririn Despriliani
2   Faculty of Language and Art, Universitas Negeri Jakarta, Jakarta, Indonesia
3   Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung, Indonesia
› Author Affiliations


Objective Emotion is a feeling that someone can feel. Emotions are generally shown through behavior or facial expressions. Emotions are essential for dental treatment because there is a relation between the emotions felt by children and the success of the dental treatment that the dentist will give. This study aimed to describe variables of emotions about dental treatment.

Materials and Methods Descriptive analysis using a convenience nonrandom sampling technique was conducted on 58 preschool children aged 3 to 6 years old who came for dental treatment at the Bandung Dental Center in Bandung, Indonesia. The instrument used to ask children how they feel about dental care is a 7-item questionnaire derived from the children's fear survey scale-dental subscale. Meanwhile, the media used by children to respond was a card with facial expressions from the Facial Expression Emotion Scale.

Results The results showed that only participants aged 4 responded with one type of emotion (happy), while the other age groups gave various emotional responses. Fear emotion began to appear in the age group of 5 and 6 years and only in girls, while emotions of anger also appeared in girls and only at the age of 5.

Conclusion In this study, the emotions that children choose about dental care at the Bandung Dental Center clinic are happy emotions. The emotions of fear and sadness were chosen more by girl participants, while none of the boy participants chose the emotion of fear. This sad and fearful response is associated with invasive dental treatment. Anger was chosen as a child's response dominantly because of the parents' invitation to the dentist.

Authors' Contributions

A.S.S. designed this study concept, and A.S.S. and D.R.N.W. conducted data collection and analysis. D.R.N.W. made the initial draft. A.S.S. and R.D. reviewed and revised the first draft. A.S.S. finalized the writing.

Publication History

Article published online:
09 June 2023

© 2023. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, permitting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction so long as the original work is properly cited. (

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