Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123
HIRAMATSU, Daniel Afonso; TOMITA, Nilce Emy and FRANCO, Laércio Joel. Tooth loss and the image of the dentist in a group of senior citizens. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2007, vol.12, n.4, pp.1051-1056. ISSN 1678-4561. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232007000400026.
This study assesses perceptions, memories and beliefs about tooth loss in a group of Japanese-Brazilian senior citizens, selecting forty individuals through a random sampling process, with inclusion criteria related to their background (Issei/Nissei) and oral status (edentulous/non-edentulous), divided into four groups, each with ten subjects. Home interviews were conducted with individuals complying with the inclusion/exclusion criteria established for each group. Using the construction of the Collective Subject Discourse as a methodological strategy, the analysis categories were defined: cause of tooth loss, time of tooth loss and the role of the dentist. Difficulties in accessing dental care and natural acceptance of tooth loss are social and cultural factors that are strongly associated with early edentulism. Pain and fear are the feelings related to the image of the dentist. However, the participants acknowledge that Dentistry has progressed, in terms of equipment, materials and techniques, as well as the training and conduct of dentists.
Keywords : Dentist; Tooth loss; Senior citizens; Qualitative analysis.