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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 89-94

Dental visit patterns and oral health outcomes in Saudi children

Department of Preventive Dental Sciences, College of Dentistry, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Jehan AlHumaid
Department of Preventive Dental Sciences, College of Dentistry, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, P. O. Box 1982, Dammam Coastal Road, 31441 Dammam
Saudi Arabia
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DOI: 10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_103_17

PMID: 30787827

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Background: Health education advocates regular dental visits to improve oral health. There is a need to verify the outcomes associated with various dental visits patterns. Objective: To assess the relationship of reported and clinically assessed oral health outcomes in Saudi children with their dental visits' pattern. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 6–12-year-old schoolchildren from six cities in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia in 2015. Parents responded to a questionnaire about dental visit patterns. Through a clinical examination, the presence of caries, sealants and need for referral was assessed. Univariate and multivariate regression was used to assess the association between dental visit patterns and pain in the past 6 months, presence of untreated caries and need for referral after controlling for confounders. Results: Of the 3000 questionnaires distributed, 2306 (76.9%) parents responded. Significantly higher odds of pain were associated with visiting when in dental pain (odds ratio = 6.81) and never visiting a dentist (odds ratio = 3.44), whereas significantly lower odds were associated with regular checkups (odds ratio = 0.28). No significant association was observed with visits after recall by dentists. Conclusion: Regular checkups initiated by parents are associated with better reported oral health outcomes in terms of pain, while recall by dentists has no impact on oral health.

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