December 2006

Volume 23, Issue 4

Characteristics attributed to individuals with dental fluorosis

Authors: R. Lowe K. Hood P.D. Bennett I.G. Chestnutt D.M. Williams


Background: Previous investigations of the public perception of dental fluorosis have focused mainly on aesthetics. Other characteristics which could potentially be ascribed to fluorosis, such as perceived personality traits, have not been examined. Objectives: This study aimed to identify personal characteristics (descriptors) attributed to people with fluorosis of varying degrees of severity, as depicted in standardised photographs viewed from different perspectives. Method: Extra-oral (full face) and intra-oral images of male and female subjects were digitally manipulated to represent normal dental enamel, mild, moderate, and severe fluorosis. The images were then scored by 90 members of the public (45M, 45F), under different experimental conditions, which varied the level of cueing to the teeth. Participants were asked (i) to record their spontaneous descriptors, (ii) select relevant descriptors from a predefined list of 50 descriptors and traits. Results: 170 different word or phrase descriptors were spontaneously attributed to the images. Characteristics used to describe fluorosis varied with the degree of severity. However, endorsements were significantly influenced by whether participants viewed extra or intraoral images and the degree of cueing. Conditions which most accurately mirrored everyday social interactions, that is viewing extraoral images without cueing to pay particular attention to the mouth, were least likely to result in the attribution of characteristics that varied with levels of fluorosis. Conclusions: While characteristics varying with severity of dental fluorosis were ascribed, more sophisticated attitudinal measures are required to ascertain the wider social impact of fluorosis beyond the aesthetic. Key words: Dental Caries, fluoride, fluorosis, perception, psychology, public, risk-benefit.


Other articles in this issue

Article Pages Access
Editorial - Presentations and conferences: can we measure their value? 194-196 Download
Caries prevalence in 12-year-old children from Germany. Results of the 2004 national survey 197-202 Download
The relationship between prevalence and incidence of dental caries. Some observational consequences. 203-208 Download
Characteristics attributed to individuals with dental fluorosis 209-216 Download
DIAGNOdent - an adjunctive diagnostic method for caries diagnosis in epidemiology 217-221 Download
Prevalence and factors associated with traumatic dental injuries (TDI) to anterior teeth of 11-13 year old Thai children 222-227 Download
Performance indicators used to assess the quality of primary dental care 228-235 Download
A survey of school dental screening practise in community dental services of England and Wales in 2003 236-238 Download
The prevalence and pattern of hypodontia of the permanent teeth and crown size and shape deformity affecting upper lateral incisors in a sample of Jordanian dental patients. 239-243 Download
Relationship between dental caries experience (DMFS) and dental fluorosis in 12-year-old Puerto Ricans. 244-250 Download
Prevalence of dental caries in obese and normal-weight Brazilian adolescents attending state and private schools. 251-253 Download
Abstracts - Papers presented at the BASCD Spring Presidential meeting in Cambridge, UK, March 2006 254-254 Download


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