Aim of this study was to analyse and compare the social perception of children with healthy teeth, visible dental caries and visible dental treatments by children (with and without caries experience) and their parents.
Images of three children (healthy teeth; untreated dental caries; treated caries i.e. restorations and missing teeth as consequence of caries treatment) were presented to fourto nine-years-old children with (n = 92) or without caries experience (n = 88) and their parents. The social perception was measured with a standardised interview (children) and a standardised questionnaire (parents). The results were statistically analysed by Wilcoxon signed-rank, Wilcoxon ranksum and chi-squared-tests (p < 0.05).
Dental appearance had a significant impact on social perception. Children and parents rated the child with healthy teeth most positive, while the child with visible caries was scored less favourable (p < 0.02). Caries experience of the children had no significant effect on their evaluation (p ≥ 0.1). With regard to the parents neither their own nor the caries experience of their children had an impact on the evaluation (p > 0.08).
Children and adults perceived children with (un)treated visible dental caries less positively than children with healthy teeth.
Vol.24 – n.2/2023
Harvard: C. Tschammler, K.F. Krumsiek, A. Wiegand (2023) "Social perception of children with and without caries", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 24(2), pp156-160. doi: 10.23804/ejpd.2023.1631
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