Appraisal of Schoolchildren's Feelings and Attitudes towards Dentists and Their Potential Impact on Oral Health
Chirine A Malak, Carole Chakar, Alain Romanos, Samar Rachidi
CPI, Dental anxiety, Dental fear, Dentist perception, DMFT, Lebanon, Oral health status
Citation Information :
Malak CA, Chakar C, Romanos A, Rachidi S. Appraisal of Schoolchildren's Feelings and Attitudes towards Dentists and Their Potential Impact on Oral Health. J Contemp Dent Pract 2021; 22 (1):23-26.
Aim: To assess schoolchildren\'s feelings and attitudes towards dentists and their potential impact on oral health. Materials and methods: 7902 schoolchildren (12 and 15 years old) attending public and private schools completed a questionnaire that assessed their feeling and attitude toward dentists. DMFT and CPI indices were used to assess dental caries and periodontal diseases respectively according to the World Health Organization method and criteria. Results: 79.7% of all schoolchildren who participated in this study had been to the dentist. 24.7% reported that they are afraid of dental visits, pain being the main reason for this disturbing feeling (88, 2%). Of the children, 81.4% preferred a female dentist; 82.3% preferred a dentist with a colored coat and 80.3% favored a renovated dental facility. 91.1% of the children are irritated by the noises in the dental clinic. The mean DMFT and CPI scores were significantly higher in patients with dental fear, and in patients who never had a dental visit. Conclusion: Meeting patient\'s perceptions and preferences regarding their dentist may help to reduce the potential dental anxiety and thus ensure the delivery of a high-quality dental treatment leading to better oral health status. Clinical relevance: Patient perception about dentists is affected by a series of factors related to the dentist, the patient, and the dental clinic. Patients who experience the worst perceptions of dental professional tend not to seek dental care, which leads to a bad oral health status, hence the importance of further studies in this area to improve such perceptions, and promote attitudinal changes toward positive health-seeking behavior.
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