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The reported impact of oral condition on children in the United Kingdom, 2003

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Jimmy Steele CBE


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Background: The 2003 Children's Dental Health Survey is the fourth in a series of decennial national children's dental health surveys of the United Kingdom. Aims: This paper is concerned with how children are reported to have been affected by their oral condition during the 12 month period immediately preceding the survey and how this relates to the children's experience of caries, their dental attendance behaviour and their social class. Method: The information was gathered by self-completion questionnaire distributed to the parents of half of the sample who were clinically examined in the dental survey. Results: Some form of impact was reported by the parents of 22% of five-year-olds, 26% of eight-year-olds, 34% of 12-year-olds and 28% of 15-year-olds. The pattern of responses to the eight impact questions was broadly similar across age groups. The most frequently reported type of impact was pain in all age groups. Impacts on oral function, self-confidence, orally related activity and on the child's emotions were experienced by 4-10% of children of all ages. Fewer children (1-2%) were reported to have experienced more far reaching impacts affecting their social functioning, general health and life overall. Conclusions: Most children were reported not to have experienced any of the problems covered by the questionnaire. Of those who did, most reported a single problem and for most this was pain. Nevertheless there was a group of children for whom oral function, self-confidence, orally related activity, emotions, social functioning, their health or their life in general were reported to have been affected by their oral condition. The nature of dental care which is appropriate for such children needs to be determined. © British Dental Journal 2006.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Nuttall NM, Steele JG, Evans D, Chadwick B, Morris AJ, Hill K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Dental Journal

Year: 2006

Volume: 200

Issue: 10

Pages: 551-555

ISSN (print): 0007-0610

ISSN (electronic): 1476-5373

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/sj.bdj.4813586

PubMed id: 16732242


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