Low-Income, Minority Families More Likely to Report Negative Experiences at Dentist

When it comes to pediatric patients, minority families and those with low incomes have been found to have more negative experiences at the dentist than higher-income, Caucasian and English-speaking families, according to a new study from University of California, Irvine. The study, “Disparities in Caregivers’ Experiences at the Dentist With Their Young Child,” was published in Academic Pediatrics.

Researchers found that families with lower incomes or from ethnic or linguistic minority groups were more likely to report negative incidents, such as the child being physically restrained, separated from a caregiver, or sedated without consent. Whereas, white caregivers were 2.26 times more likely to report positive interactions at the dentist.

The findings are based on responses provided by 1,184 caregivers of children under age 6.  Focus groups with caregivers of young children were convened in four cities, followed by a survey between May 2016 and June 2018.

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