Significance of dental problems to the public and their comparability with general health problems

Gert P. Westert*, Sietze P. Oosterhaven, Jelte Bouma, Rob M. H. Schaub

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Abstract

    A group of 109 subjects received a short questionnaire concerning their general health status. The subjects were invited to recall all the (health) problems experienced in the foregoing 6 months. Every participant in this study had visited the dentist, in the 6 months preceding the investigation, because of a dental problem. If these dental problems were important for the respondents they would recall them spontaneously, when a general question regarding health problems was posed. Only eight subjects mentioned dental problems spontaneously, of which seven concerned "pain-complaints". Only in two cases had the dental complaints been experienced more than 3 months ago. Eighteen respondents said that they could not remember the dental visit or their specific dental problem. Thirteen of these 18 persons visited their dentist because of an aesthetic problem. The results indicate that the impact of (some) dental problems on a person's feeling of being healthy was small. On the other hand, this study shows that the comparability of (most) dental problems and general health problems is limited. A typology of the significance of dental problems for the public and comparability with the concept of general health is presented and discussed in this study.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)360-363
    Number of pages4
    JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
    Volume16
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec-1988

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