Objective: Patients generally experience some level of anxiety during dental treatments. Salivary alpha amylase (SAA) can be used as a biomarker for anxiety. This study aimed to compare SAA levels between children who had never and had undergone tooth extraction procedures with a local anesthetic injection. Methods: Thirty-seven participants aged 6–11 years who were to undergo the extraction of primary teeth at the Dental and Oral Educational Hospital, Faculty of Dentistry Universitas Indonesia, were enrolled. The subjects were divided into two groups: One group consists of 20 children who had never undergone a tooth extraction, and the other group consists of 17 children who had undergone tooth extraction. From all children, one saliva sample was collected using a portable saliva strip 10 min before (t0), shortly after (t1), and 10 min after (t2) local anesthetic injection, and the SAA activity was determined using a portable Nipro Cocoro Meter device. The SAA levels of both groups were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U test. Results: There were significant differences in SAA levels at t0 (p=0.001), t1 (p=0.018), and t2 (p=0.021) in both groups. Anxiety is a combination of behavioral and physiological reactions. SAA release is regulated by autonomic innervation, and the SAA level increases owing to acute stress. Conclusion: Dentists should note patients’ negative dental experiences to provide more effective and less traumatic treatment.
- Children aged 6-11 years
- Salivary alpha amylase levels
- Tooth extraction