Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia
Print version ISSN 1415-790X
BALDANI, Márcia Helena et al. Aesthetic perceptions of dental fluorosis among young university students. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2008, vol.11, n.4, pp. 597-607. ISSN 1415-790X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-790X2008000400008.
OBJECTIVE: To identify the levels of approval of dental fluorosis among lay adults and dentists, comparing the standards of acceptance of the appearance of affected teeth among groups of university students attending the area of Exact Sciences, representing the lay population, and senior Dentistry students, representing dentists. METHODS: 180 students participated by answering questions concerning dental arch photographs, with Dean's very mild, mild and moderate fluorosis index, and moderate fluorosis after the application of the microabrasion enamel technique. The questionnaire comprised questions about the general appearance of the mouth; coloration, form and position of teeth; aspect of the gums and the possibility of smiling without embarrassment. Data was analyzed using the Chi-square test and reliable logistic regression with 95% confidence intervals. RESULTS: There were higher approval ratios, related to the appearance of the mouth and coloration of teeth, for the cases of very mild fluorosis. For all cases, Exact Sciences students were more demanding than Dentistry students. There was a significant association between perceived appearance of the mouth and discoloration of the teeth. The multivariate analysis revealed that, in the case of very mild fluorosis, the discoloration of teeth was included in the explanatory model of the perception of the appearance of the mouth only for the group of senior Dentistry students. CONCLUSIONS: All levels of fluorosis were perceived by the groups studied; however the cases of very mild fluorosis do not seem to compromise the positive perception of the appearance of the mouth, for the groups that represent lay individuals.
Keywords : Dental aesthetic; Dental fluorosis; Perception.