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Dental avoidance among adolescents–a retrospective case –control study based on dental records in the public dental service in a Swedish county

Journal article
Authors Anida Fägerstad
Jesper Lundgren
Jenny Windahl
Kristina Arnrup
Published in Acta Odontologica Scandinavica
Volume 77
Pages 1-8
ISSN 0001-6357
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 1-8
Language en
Keywords adolescent, Dental care, utilization
Subject categories Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology), Odontological behavioural science


© 2018, © 2018 Acta Odontologica Scandinavica Society. Objective: This study aimed to investigate the occurrence of missed dental appointments among 16–19-year-old adolescents in a Swedish county. A second aim was to explore associations between background and concomitant factors and missed appointments and to investigate if these associations differed between areas with different sociodemographic profiles. Materials and methods: A list of booked, and missed, appointments for 10,158 individuals during 2012 was used for assessments. Based on the total sample, 522 cases with, and 522 matched controls without, dental avoidance behavior in 2012 were identified. Data on previous missed and cancelled appointments, oral health status, dental treatment, fear or behavior problems, and medical, and, where available, psychosocial or lifestyle factors were extracted from the dental records using a preset protocol covering the period 2009–2012. Results: In 2012, 13.1% of 23,522 booked appointments were missed, with a higher proportion of missed appointments among boys than girls. Cases with avoidance behavior more often had a record of sociodemographic load and dental fear or behavior management problems. They also had more oral health problems, more invasive dental treatments, and, in the past, more missed and canceled appointments. Conclusion: To enable good oral health and continued regular dental care, we need to pay more attention to adolescents’ individual situation and be observant of early signs of avoidance.

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