Use of Salivary Alpha Amylase to Evaluate Dental Stress in Children during their First and Subsequent Visits: A Pilot Study
Saveetha Dental College, Velapanchavadi, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Introduction: Dental anxiety is very frequent among population of many countries. It is assessed with a noninvasive biomarker, Salivary alpha amylase. Assessment of dental anxiety or stress can be a vital part of children management during treatment as it affects the children behaviour.
Aim: To evaluate acute psychological stress undergone by children during their first visit and subsequent dental visit using salivary biomarker of stress namely salivary alpha amylase.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in Department of Paediatric and Preventive Dentistry, Saveetha Dental College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Twenty children were selected for the study. To measure anxiety, the childâ€™s parent completed Modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS). Unstimulated whole salivary samples were collected from 20 children in their first dental visit and in their second visit. Salivary alpha amylase concentrations were obtained using an automatic analyser and assay kits from Roche. Paired t-test was used to compare the two study groups (new and returning patients).
Results: Moderate and severe anxiety was present in seven and twelve children out of twenty new patients. Six children had moderate anxiety while no one reported severe anxiety among returning children. Salivary alpha amylase levels were higher in children in their first dental visit (61.29±4.51) compared to their second visit (45.56±3.58).
Conclusion: Children during their first dental visit experienced higher levels of stress compared to subsequent visit.