Association Between Children’s Perceptions Of The Dentist And Dental Treatment And Their Oral Health-Related Quality Of Life
Attitude towards dental treatment has been one of the major factors associated with oral health of children in the present era. Identifying children’s approaches toward their dentists and dental treatment would allow us to improve the quality of dental appointments in future. The study was conducted to identify children’s perceptions of dentists and dental treatment and their association with oral health-related quality of life using questionnaire.
Materials & Methods:
A cross-sectional study of eight to ten years old, of both genders, sixty children who regularly enrolled in primary schools, at second to fifth grade reading level and in need of both curative and preventive procedures coming for dental treatment in Pediatric dental clinic, King Khalid University were included in the study. Ethical approval and Informed consent was obtained prior to the study. Child Perceptions’ questionnaire included 8-items designed to assess children’s perception of their dentists. Oral health-related quality of life (OHRQOL) was assessed using the ECOHIS (Early Childhood Oral Health Impact Scale).
Analysis of child’s perception towards dental treatment was analyzed as a questionnaire based on children response towards dental visit and role of children’s perception towards dentist. Analysis of Early Childhood Oral Health Impact Scale (ECOHIS) Questionnaire was measured using A-ECOHIS responses in the child impact and family impact study groups respectively. Present study implied that children have strong perceptions and preferences regarding dental visit and dentist.
Child’s first dental visit is of utmost importance as it determines his/her future behavior and attitude towards dentistry. Children form an opinion of dentist based on his or her appearance, body language, speech and usage of personal protective equipment. All these factors combine and help in forming a positive attitude towards dentist and dentistry. Families’ perceptions in research on health services, is also considered important to improve the quality of life as an important product of research into pediatric healthcare services.
Children’s perception of dentist, their attire and the dental environment should be comfortable and appropriate for the patient to deliver dental care effectively. Several factors as discussed in our study should be considered as the initial dental experience that has a major influence on the child’s attitude towards dentistry. Further studies should be done on a larger sample size to cover specific regions affected by early childhood caries to improve targeted population.