Abstract: Aim The aim of this study was to evaluate parentsí perceptions of dental fluorosis and other oral health conditions depicted in photographs of anterior teeth.
Study Design and Methods The sample comprised 120 parents (average age 39.3 years) whose children were undergoing dental treatment at the School of Dentistry of the Federal University of Minas Gerais. Seven photographs were selected: P1, open bite; P2, dental fluorosis TF=1 associated with open bite; P3, dental fluorosis TF=1; P4, midline deviation and crowding; P5, dental hypoplasia; P6, teeth without oral problems; P7, dental fluorosis TF=3. All photographs were randomly shown to all the parents, who classified the conditions observed based on a numeric scale: 0-19 (very unsatisfactory), 20-39 (unsatisfactory), 40-59 (neutral), 60-79 satisfactory and 80-100 (very satisfactory). The reasons for dissatisfaction and the possible treatment choice were examined.
Results P6 (normal teeth) was the most satisfactory photograph according to the parents (mean= 61.2), and all photographs were statistically significantly different from one another (Mann-Whitney test, p ≤ 0.05), except the following pairs: P1 (mean=52.9) and P7 (mean=50.2) (p= 0.537); P2 (mean=32.6) and P3 (mean=39.0) (p = 0.073); and P5 (mean=18.9) and P4 (mean=18.4) (p = 0.923). Alignment and crowding were considered the most prevalent problem in all cases (27.5 to 90.8% of parents) and orthodontic treatment was the most frequently cited option for treating all conditions (34.2 to 89.2% of parents).
Conclusion In general, parents were dissatisfied with the oral conditions depicted in all photographs. Midline deviation associated to crowding (P4) and dental hypoplasia (P5) were considered the most unsatisfactory conditions. The most frequently cited oral problems by the parents were alignment and crowding. Orthodontic treatment was considered the best option by the majority of parents.