Decision Making for Dental Treatment- Competency among School Children

Sajith Bhaskar, Ahmed Al-Radaideh, Khaled Mahmoud Attourah, Ahmed Gaed Al Hamami

Abstract


Despite advances in dentistry, the decision of dental treatment and consent remains widespread among patients and is a significant barrier to dental treatment. Dental treatment that is decided by the dentist or the patient is a public health problem and no epidemiological study has been undertaken in Fujairah to evaluate its prevalence. The aim of this study is to recognize if children (between ages 14-16 years old), should be involved in the decision making as much as possible for dental treatment. A questionnaire survey was distributed conducted amongst a sample of 277 private school children of 14-16 year. Questionnaire was to assess their dental anxiety and to determine their ability in making decision regarding their dental treatment. Majority of children was not really worried about having their teeth checked by a dentist and was willing to visit a Dentist. 52% was worried about having an injection and having their tooth removed. But only 22.4% were arguing against the decision of removing a badly decayed tooth. The response about delay in putting a cap on a broken down front tooth until they were 18 saw a difference among male and female respondents. The overall result shows that the children in the age group of 14-16 are capable of making good decision in the areas where they are knowledgeable and were willing to discuss those matters which they were not sure about. Based on the finding of our study we conclude that if the patient can weigh the risk and benefits and are able to reach a good decision they can give an informed consent for dental treatment.

 


Keywords


Consent; Anxiety; Decision-Making

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