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Parental Perception of the Importance of the Permanent First Molar in Their Children

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Purpose: To evaluate parental knowledge of the importance of the permanent first molar (PFM).
Methods: Three hundred and eighty parents filled a 22-item questionnaire assisted by a trained investigator. They were asked to indicate the correct answer from the given list of options in order to assess their awareness about the eruption sequence of primary and permanent teeth and the importance of PFMs. Assessment of parental attitude toward preventive management and treatment of carious or infected permanent teeth was done, together with their willingness to comply with the treatment options suggested for such teeth. The sequelae of caries in PFM and their effect on the growth and development of the face and jaws were assessed as well.
Results: Seventy-five percent and 72.4 percent of parents responded correctly about the number of primary and permanent teeth. When parents were asked about the chronology of tooth eruption, 53.9 percent of parents thought that the PFM erupted between 10 and 12 years of age. Almost 65 percent of the parents said they would start brushing their child's teeth after all the primary teeth erupt. Forty-five percent agreed to the extraction of PFMs, considering them to be primary teeth, as they felt unnecessary to treat a carious tooth that was going to exfoliate.
Conclusion: Parents often based their decision for dental treatment choices for their children on lack of information as they were unaware about the eruption and importance of PFM. There is a need to emphasize the importance of PFM during interaction with parents.
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Keywords: DENTAL CARIES; FIRST PERMANENT MOLAR; PARENTAL ATTITUDE; PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Dr. Jetpurwala is an associate professor, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Nair Hospital Dental College, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India;, Email: [email protected] 2: Dr. Sawant is an intern, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Nair Hospital Dental College, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India 3: Dr. Jain, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Nair Hospital Dental College, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India 4: Dr. Dedhia are assistant professors, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Nair Hospital Dental College, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Publication date: January 1, 2020

More about this publication?
  • Acquired after the merger between the American Society of Dentistry for Children and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry in 2002, the Journal of Dentistry for Children (JDC) is an internationally renowned journal whose publishing dates back to 1934. Published three times a year, JDC promotes the practice, education and research specifically related to the specialty of pediatric dentistry. It covers a wide range of topics related to the clinical care of children, from clinical techniques of daily importance to the practitioner, to studies on child behavior and growth and development. JDC also provides information on the physical, psychological and emotional conditions of children as they relate to and affect their dental health.
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