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The child’s first dental visit. Age, reasons, oral health status and dental treatment needs among children in Southern Poland
Pubblication date: 12/2018
Authors: A. Mika*, M. Mitus-Kenig**, A. Zeglen*, D. Drapella-Gasior****, K. Rutkowska*****, J. Josko-Ochojska***
Institution: *Private Practice, Poronin, Poland
**Department of Dental Prophylaxis and Experimental Dentistry, Collegium Medicum of Jagiellonian University (CMUJ), Cracow, Poland
***Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Medicine, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
****Private Practice, Tarnow, Poland
*****Private Practice, Czarny Dunajec, Poland
Publication: European Journal of Paediatic Dentistry
Title: The child’s first dental visit. Age, reasons, oral health status and dental treatment needs among children in Southern Poland
Abstract: Aim The aim of this study was to determine the age at and the reasons for the child’s first dental visit, and to assess the oral health status and treatment needs in the analysed group of paediatric patients.
Material and methods The study involved 320 children (154 girls and 166 boys) aged between 0.7 months and 13.5 years, visiting the dentist for the first time. All parents/legal guardians of the study participants gave written informed consent for participation in the study. Data on the child’s age and reason for the dental visit were collected from interviews with parents. The state of oral health and dental treatment needs were assessed based on clinical examination, according to recommendations of the World Health Organization. Statistical analysis: collected data were entered into an Excel spreadsheet and analysed using IBM SPSS software (version 24). Research hypotheses were verified using the Chi-square independence test at the level of statistical significance p<0.05.
Results The mean age of children at their first dental visit was 3.79 years (+/- 1.82 years). The most common reasons (60%) for the first dental visit were pain followed by dental caries (33.1%) and the presence of decayed teeth (26.9%). The frequency of caries in the population was 75.9%, which means that only one out of four examined children was free from dental caries. Only 23.1% of patients did not require dental treatment and as many as 76.9% of the studied population needed dental treatment.
Conclusions Polish children make their first dental visit too late (usually at the age of 4 years) in relation to medical recommendations (between 6 and 12 months of life). The predominant reason for the child’s first dental visit is caries and its complications. The results of this study indicate the bad oral health of Polish children making their first dental visit and low health awareness of parents and guardians.