To assess parental preferences for dental caries treatment and its association with socio-demographic conditions and beliefs about the primary dentition.
Study design: Cross-sectional study. This study was conducted among 512 parents of 2- to 5-year-old children in the State of Tocantins, in the North Region of Brazil. A self-administered questionnaire on preferences for dental caries treatment, socio-demographic conditions and beliefs about the primary dentition was responded by parents considering two hypothetical clinical scenarios: if their child had one or more asymptomatic caries lesions (without pain), one or more symptomatic caries lesions (toothache). Poisson regression models fitted the association between explanatory variables and the preference to conservative interventions.
A non-negligible proportion of parents prefer non-conservative dental treatments for their children. In both clinical scenarios, older and more schooled mothers were significantly (p<0.05) more likely to prefer conservative interventions. Wrongly believing that root canal treatment is not applicable to primary teeth was associated with a lower willingness to conservative treatments (PR=0.93, p=0.047 for the symptomatic scenario and PR=0.86; p=0.003 for the asymptomatic scenario), thus favouring the option for tooth extraction.
It can be concluded that parental preferences for dental caries treatment in preschool children depend on mother’s age and education level, as well as on beliefs about the primary dentition.
Vol.23 – n.2/2022
Harvard: L. C. Diel, J. Abanto, J. L. Ferreira Antunes, J. C. Pettorossi Imparato, L. Franco Ramos, F. Guinot Jimeno, L. Butini Oliveira (2022) "Parental preferences for dental caries treatment in preschool children according to socio-demographic conditions and beliefs about the primary dentition", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 23(2), pp147-152. doi: 10.23804/ejpd.2022.23.02.07
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