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Aust Dent J. 2013 Jun;58(2):163-9. doi: 10.1111/adj.12041.

Parental knowledge and attitudes towards dental radiography for children.

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  • 1School of Dentistry, The University of Western Australia, Perth.



Radiographs are an essential part of most clinical dental examinations and diagnoses. The aim of the study was to assess the knowledge and attitudes of parents towards dental radiographs for their children.


A 21-item questionnaire, covering parental level of radiation knowledge and socio-demographics was applied. Sliding scales were used to assess attitude towards dental radiographs.


There were 1467 questionnaires distributed between five primary schools in the Perth (Western Australia) metropolitan area, with 309 surveys (21%) returned for collection. Most parents displayed a low level of knowledge, but had a positive attitude towards dental radiographs. Parents with children who have previously had dental radiographs perceived dental radiographs as 'good', 'useful' and 'pleasant'. A higher level of education and parents with children who have previously had radiographs were significantly associated with a higher level of knowledge about dental radiography. Parents who had higher scores on questions assessing radiation knowledge were more likely to perceive dental radiographs as 'safe' and 'beneficial'.


Most parents have a positive attitude towards dental radiographs on their children. However, the majority of parents lack knowledge regarding dental radiography, especially regarding the risks involved.

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