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Original Research

Open Access

Students' perception of protective stabilization of pediatric dental patients: a qualitative study

  • Mathieu Marty1
  • Morgane Carbillet1
  • Marie-Cécile Valéra1,2,*,

1Faculty of Dental Surgery, Toulouse III University—Paul Sabatier, 31 4000 Toulouse, France

2Inserm, U1048 and Toulouse III University—Paul Sabatier, I2MC, 31 4000 Toulouse, France

DOI: 10.22514/jocpd.2024.003 Vol.48,Issue 1,January 2024 pp.19-25

Submitted: 30 April 2023 Accepted: 28 June 2023

Published: 03 January 2024

*Corresponding Author(s): Marie-Cécile Valéra E-mail:


Protective stabilization (PS) has been utilized to safely perform examinations, make diagnoses and/or provide limited treatment of short duration to uncooperative children. The literature supports PS as an alternative technique when behavior management strategies are not sufficient to enable oral care. The use of PS in pediatric dentistry can be traumatic for patients, parents and the medical team and has sometimes been described as being non-compliant with standards of care. Semi-structured qualitative interviews on dental students’ perception of PS were conducted in the pediatric department of dentistry at the University Hospital of Toulouse, France. A thematic analysis of the transcript of interviews was provided using the NViVo software. This analysis identified four main themes. The students described their first experience with physical restraint in pediatric dentistry and wondered about the definition of PS. The students’ perception of PS showed that this procedure has a psychological impact and is disturbing. There is a lack of information on PS in dental curricula and didactic and clinical education which requires attention. Finally, the students took into consideration the role of PS in future practice. Dental students’ perception of PS provides justification for the development and improvement of theoretical and clinical education in behavior guidance techniques for pediatric dental patients, in accordance with national and international guidelines.


Physical restraint; Pediatric dentistry; Qualitative study; Student; Dental care; Child

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Mathieu Marty,Morgane Carbillet,Marie-Cécile Valéra. Students' perception of protective stabilization of pediatric dental patients: a qualitative study. Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry. 2024. 48(1);19-25.


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