Survey of behavior management teaching in predoctoral pediatric dentistry programs

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27 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to survey directors of predoctoral pediatric dentistry programs regarding the teaching of behavior management techniques. Methods: Surveys were mailed to all 56 dental schools in the United States. Follow-up mailings were sent to nonrespondents. The survey contained items on program demographics and the program's teaching of communicative and pharmacologic techniques. Information was also obtained on informed consent and parental presence in the operatory. Results: Surveys were returned by 48 schools. Two schools declined to respond because they had not yet accepted or graduated students. The final response rate was 89%. The mean (±SD) percentage of total didactic time devoted to behavior management was 12% (±6). Communicative techniques were taught as "acceptable" by 96% to 100% of programs, with the exception of the hand-over-mouth exercise (HOME). HOME was taught as "unacceptable" by 62% of programs. Active and passive immobilization of sedated and nonsedated children was taught as "acceptable" by 69% to 85% of programs. Sixty-seven percent to 98% of programs taught that pharmacologic techniques (nitrous oxide, conscious sedation, general anesthesia) are "acceptable." There was little evidence that the teaching of behavior management techniques had changed over the previous 5 years, nor that they were likely to change in the near future. Parental presence in the operatory was common for some procedures, particularly among younger children. Conclusions: Predoctoral programs teach as acceptable communicative and pharmacologic management techniques, with the exception of HOME. Predoctoral program directors report they are not likely to increase the amount of curricular time devoted to behavior management in the near future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-150
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric dentistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2004


  • Behavior management
  • Dental education
  • Pediatric dentistry
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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