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Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry Official publication of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 198-201

Awareness and attitude of patients' parents toward pulp therapy of the primary teeth: A clinical survey

Department of Pedodontic and Preventive Dentistry, KLE Society's Institute of Dental Sciences, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication10-Oct-2011

Correspondence Address:
J V Setty
Professor, Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Bangalore Institute of Dental Sciences, 5/3, Hosur Main Road, Bangalore-560 029, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-4388.85810

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Aims and Objective: The present study was carried out to find out the awareness and attitude of parents of patients, toward the pulpal treatment of primary teeth, visiting a dental hospital in a Bangalore suburban area. Materials and Methods: A total of 685 parents of the child patients requiring pulp treatment procedures visiting the dental OPD over a period of 18 months were personally interviewed with a questionnaire and their responses were immediately computed. Results: Urban populations seeking dental treatment are more in number as compared to the rural population. Pain and associated feature was the most common reason among both urban (71.92%) and rural (93.3%) patients visiting a dental office. Conclusions: It is important to create more awareness among the populace of our country about the significance of maintaining a healthy primary dentition and attendant sequalae if not done so.

Keywords: Awareness, attitude, pulp therapy, primary tooth

How to cite this article:
Setty J V, Srinivasan I. Awareness and attitude of patients' parents toward pulp therapy of the primary teeth: A clinical survey. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2011;29:198-201

How to cite this URL:
Setty J V, Srinivasan I. Awareness and attitude of patients' parents toward pulp therapy of the primary teeth: A clinical survey. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent [serial online] 2011 [cited 2022 Aug 8];29:198-201. Available from: http://www.jisppd.com/text.asp?2011/29/3/198/85810

   Introduction Top

Many a time, people responsible for the oral care of children feel or believe that since primary teeth will any way shed, it is not worth their while to spend time/money on providing good oral health to children. The onus of spreading this myth lies on many shoulders. Even in developed nations, most parents still take their children to the dentist for curative and not for Preventive treatments. To reiterate and to emphasize the critical importance of taking good care of primary teeth, some of the consequences, if the teeth are left untreated, are mentioned below:

  • Swelling or pain in single or multiple teeth
  • Compromised esthetics
  • Compromised cognitive growth
  • Low self-esteem and poor social interaction
  • Difficulty in acquiring speech skills
  • Early loss of primary teeth causing a number of problems such as ectopic eruption, disturbance of the eruption sequence, drifting of erupted teeth, space loss for successor permanent teeth, and development of aberrant habits such as tongue thrusting
  • Lost school hours compromised nutrition. [1],[2],[3]

The fact of the matter is that it is not just the child who suffers but also the parents who not only go through the emotional trauma of an unwell child at home but whose office hours may also suffer. Not to mention the precious hours of the dentist, parents, and child spent in correcting anomalies later which could have been prevented by timely intervention in the first place, and these hours could be spent in a better way. Thus, it is important that primary dentition should be maintained in the dental arch provided it can be restored to function and remain free from disease. An intact tooth successfully disinfected and restored clinically is a superior space maintainer than an appliance. To accomplish this, many pulp treatment procedures have been proposed. So the present study was designed and undertaken to assess the awareness of mix populations (including urban and rural, educated and uneducated categories) about the dental problems of children, reason for visiting a dentist, and their attitudes toward the treatment of pulpally involved milk teeth.

Source of data

Study was conducted in a dental hospital situated in sub-urban locality of Bangalore, which had inflow of both urban and rural population for dental treatment.

   Materials and Methods Top

The present study was conducted in the Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry of a dental hospital situated in a suburban locality of Bangalore for a period of 18 months. A set of questions with multiple-choice answers were formulated. This questionnaire was personally given to the parents of the child patients requiring pulp therapy for primary teeth. The respondents were asked to tick the most appropriate answer from the list of given answers. A printed questionnaire was distributed both in English and local language for their better understanding, and help was also provided to few uneducated (ill-literate) parents to read and understand the questions.

The nature and purpose of the study was explained, its voluntary nature was emphasized, and strict confidentiality was assured. Once the questionnaire was answered, the importance of primary teeth and need for pulp therapy was explained. A filled questionnaire with responses was thus collected immediately and computed.

   Results and Conclusions Top

A total of 636 subjects from both urban and rural areas were surveyed to ascertain the knowledge and also the attitude of parents regarding pulp therapy of primary teeth in the Yeshwanthpur suburban area, which had a good number of urban as well as rural patients over a period of 18 months.

Questionnaires were given only to the parents of the patients who visited the hospital seeking dental treatment of their children with various pulpal conditions requiring pulp treatment procedures. The data thus collected were analyzed. [4],[5],[6]

In our study, the number of urban patients (456) seeking treatment was more as compared to rural patients (180). Pulpal conditions were the prime reasons among both the populations for making their first dental visit with the urban population constituting about 73.6% and rural constituting about 86.6% [Table 1];[Figure 1].
Table 1: Distribution of study population

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Figure 1: First dental visit

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Pain and associated features was the most commonest reason for visiting the dental clinic with 71.92% among the urban and 93.3% among rural population as compared to other chief complaints like trauma with 9.64% in the urban group and 3.33% in the rural group. Visiting for the unsightly appearance was 1.75% among the urban and 1.11% among the rural population, and visiting dental office as a part of their routine dental check-up was found with only 3.94% urban population and 0% rural population. The same trend of preferences for treatment seeking continued both with educated and uneducated patients [Table 2];[Figure 2] and [Figure 3].
Table 2: Comparing rural and urban parents' attitude toward different aspects of pulp therapy

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Figure 2: Reasons for visiting a dental clinic (urban)

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Figure 3: Reasons for visiting a dental clinic (rural)

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When parents were questioned as to whether they feel the need for any dental treatment to save the pulpally involved primary tooth, a major percentage of both urban (96%) and rural (73.3%) populations thought that there is a need for primary teeth treatment, and a very less number of people (3.94% among urban and 26.6% of rural parents) thought that there was no need for primary teeth dental treatment as these teeth any way shed and are replaced by permanent successors. [7] None of the educated urban patients said no, i.e., all the educated parents agreed to the necessity of deciduous tooth dental treatment [Table 2] and [Figure 4].
Figure 4: Need for primary tooth dental treatment

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The willingness to subject their children to undergo pulp therapy (pulpotomy/pulpectomy) to save the tooth was 90.7% in urban as compared to 83.3% among rural parents [Figure 5]. The commonest reason for their unwillingness was considering the treatment a waste of time as any way the teeth get replaced by permanent teeth with monetary considerations being the next common cause and very few not stating exact reasons [Table 2]. [8]
Figure 5: Willingness to undergo pulp therapy

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Thus our present study concludes that though a norm of a regular annual/semiannual dental check-up routine is set, people in a developing country visit dentists in acute needs, mostly with pain and associated features especially in primary teeth. It is important to inform the parents that the child must undergo a dental examination by the time the first tooth appears in the oral cavity and then follow a regular routine dental check-up which saves the child and the parent a lot of trouble. [9] Unfortunately, one gets to see the child when the disease progress has reached the stage where either function or esthetics or both are compromised. One of the reasons for timely intervention not happening could be that some children seldom complain of pain while these lesions are progressing.

We, as professionals, need to create more awareness among the populace of our country about the significance of maintaining a healthy primary dentition and attendant sequelae of not doing so. Both general dentists and pediatric dentists must play a proactive role in this process and contribute in either way possible. We must not forget that "Child is the father of man."

   References Top

1.Dummett Jr CO, Kopel HM. Pediatric Endodontics. In: Ingle JI, Bakland LK, editors. Endodontics. 5 th ed. Ontario: B C Decker Inc.; 2002. p. 861-902.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Curzon ME, Roberts JF, Kennedy DB, editors. Kennedy's Pediatric Operative Dentistry. 4 th ed. Oxford: Wright Press; 1996. p. 143-57.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Mathewson RJ, Primosch RE, editors. Fundamentals of Pediatric Dentistry. 3 rd ed. Carol Stream: Quintessence Publishing co., Inc., 1995; 257-285.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Sarnat H, Kagan A, Raviv A. The relation between mother's attitude towards dentistry and oral health status of their children. Pediatr Dent 1984;6:128-31.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Shashikiran ND, Reddy VV, Nagaveni WB. Knowledge and attitude of 2,000 parents (Urban and Rural-1000 each) with regard to avulsed permanent incisors and their emergency management in and around Davanagere. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2006;24;116-21.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Kuriokose S, Joseph E. Caries prevalence and its relation to socio-economic status and oral hygiene practices in 600 pre-school children in Kerala-India. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 1989;17:97-100.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Tickle M, Milsom K, King D, Kearney-Mitchell P, Blinkhorn A. The fate of the carious primary teeth of children who regularly attend the general dental service. Br Dent J 2003;192:219-23.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Tickle M, Willaims M, Jenner A, Blinkhorn A. The effects of dental attendance and Socio-economic status on dental caries experience and treatment patterns in 5-year-old children. Br Dent J 1999;186:135-7.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Curzon ME, Pallord MA. Do we still care about children's teeth? Br Dent J 1997;182;242-4.  Back to cited text no. 9


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5]

  [Table 1], [Table 2]

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