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Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Pediatric Dentistry

First Advisor

Dr. Tegwyn H. Brickhouse


The purpose of this study was to assess the baseline oral health quality of life of high-risk children and examine differences in oral health quality of life according to the child's treatment needs at an oral screening exam. We hypothesized that a child's oral health related Quality of Life (QOL) would be correlated with dental treatment needs. This study was a cross-sectional design with subjects who were 8-14 year old patients of Virginia Commonwealth University and/or members of the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Richmond. The oral health quality of life was measured using the Child Perception Questionnaire (CPQ). It is a multidimensional scale that includes items concerning functional aspects including oral pain and discomfort, but also includes psychological and social aspects. The four domains tested are: oral symptoms, functional limitations, emotional well-being and social well-being. The children were asked to report on these domains as they related to their oral health in the past 3 months. The dental treatment needs of the children were categorized as (0) no future needs, or (1) restorative or orthodontic needs. Those with no future needs were scheduled for a 6 months periodic exam and prophylaxis (cleaning). The children in need of restorative treatment were scheduled for such (restorations, stainless steel crowns, extractions), and those in need of orthodontics were referred for consult to an orthodontist. The final sample population consisted of 107 children, predominately African American (84%). The intra-oral screenings revealed 75% of children required future dental treatment, specifically 84% restorative and 12% orthodontic work and 25% in need of preventative recall (cleaning and exam at 6 months). Overall, children reported high levels of oral health quality of life. When asked about the overall health of their teeth, lips, jaws and mouth, 39 % (n=42) reported excellent or very good, 50% (n=53) reported good, and 9% (n=10) reported fair or poor. When asked how "overall life" was affected by oral health, 72% (n=77) reported very little or not at all, 13% (n=14) reported some, and 15% (n=16) reported a lot or very much. There were no significant correlations between the oral health quality of life domains and the children's dental treatment needs.


Part of Retrospective ETD Collection, restricted to VCU only.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008