The effects of oral conscious sedation on future behavior and anxiety in pediatric dental patients

Marilyn McComb, Samuel R. Koenigsberg, Hillary L. Broder, Milton Houpt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study investigated the relationship between oral conscious sedation and subsequent behavior in the dental setting. Methods: The sample consisted of 38 children between the ages of 39 to 71 months (mean=50 months) who had been treated with oral sedation 2 to 34 months(mean=13 months) previously, and a control group of 38 children, matched by age (mean=51 months) and gender, who had received dental treatment without conscious sedation or general anesthesia one week to 3 years previously. Subjects were matched by age and gender. All children received a standard recall examination and a prophylaxis, during which behavior and anxiety were measured. Independent variables included age at the time of sedation, present age, gender, time elapsed since sedation, effectiveness of sedation, parental scores on Corah's Dental Anxiety Scale and parent's answers to a questionnaire. The dependent variables were child behavior (rated with the 4-point Frankl scale) and self-reported anxiety ratings. Results: Both groups had mean behavior ratings of positive or very positive (experimental group mean=3.13; control group mean=3.34). There were no statistically significant differences between the groups and there was little correlation of independent and dependent variables. Conclusions: There is no relationship between oral conscious sedation and the future behavior of children in the dental setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-211
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric dentistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2002


  • Anxiety
  • Child behavior
  • Conscious sedation
  • Oral sedation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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