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Am J Public Health. 2005 Aug;95(8):1340-4. Epub 2005 Jun 28.

Perception of dental illness among persons receiving public assistance in Montreal.

Author information

1
Faculty of Dentistry, McGill University, 3640 University St, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H3A 2B2. christophe.bedos@mcgill.ca

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We examined rationales for behaviors related to dental care among persons receiving public assistance in Montreal, Quebec.

METHODS:

Fifty-seven persons receiving public assistance participated in 8 focus groups conducted in 2002. Sessions were recorded on audiotape and transcribed; analyses included debriefing sessions and coding and interpreting transcribed data.

RESULTS:

In the absence of dental pain and any visible cavity, persons receiving public assistance believed they were free of dental illness. However, they knew that dental pain signals a pathological process that progressively leads to tooth decay and, therefore, should be treated by a dentist. However, when in pain, despite recognizing that they needed professional treatment, they preferred to wait and suffer because of a fear of painful dental treatments and a reluctance to undertake certain procedures.

CONCLUSIONS:

Persons receiving public assistance have perceptions about dental health and illness that prevent them from receiving early treatment for tooth decay, which may lead to disagreements with dentists when planning dental treatments.

PMID:
15985647
PMCID:
PMC1449364
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2004.045955
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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