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The impact of dental caries on children and young people: what they have to say?

Gilchrist, Fiona; Marshman, Zoe; Deery, Chris; Rodd, Helen D.
Int J Paediatr Dent; 25(5): 327-38, 2015 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26153526


Dental caries affects 60-90% of children across the world and is associated with a variety of negative impacts. Despite its ubiquity, there has been surprisingly little exploration of these impacts from the child's perspective.


The aim was to allow children to describe the impact of dental caries on their daily lives and to describe the terminology they used.


Children, aged 5-15 years, with caries experience were purposively sampled from primary and secondary care dental clinics. Focus groups (n = 5) and in-depth interviews (n = 16) were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data analysis took a narrative approach, and themes were derived from the data using framework analysis.


Pain was the main theme to emerge. Within this, three subthemes were identified: impacts related to pain, strategies adopted to reduce pain, and emotional aspects resulting from pain. A second theme was also identified relating to the aesthetic aspects of caries.


Children as young as 5 years of age were able to competently discuss their experiences of dental caries. Participants reported a number of impacts affecting various aspects of their lives. These will be incorporated into the future development of a caries-specific measure of oral health-related quality of life.
Selo DaSilva