Objectives: The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of silver diamine fluoride (SDF) therapy on the oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) of preschool children and their families in a school-based setting.
Methods: A prospective study was conducted in six kindergartens in Hong Kong. Parents of the children were invited to complete an oral health questionnaire and to have their child undergo a dental examination. The decayed, missing and filled teeth (dmft) index was adopted for recording oral health status. The Chinese Early Childhood Oral Health Impact Scale (C-ECOHIS) was used to evaluate the OHRQoL of the children and their families. Children with untreated caries were treated with SDF. The Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test was used to determine the changes in C-ECOHIS scores before and after SDF treatment for six months.
Results: At baseline, 117 preschool children aged 4-5 years received SDF treatment for caries arrest. Their mean(SD) dmft score at baseline was 4.9(3.8). After six months, 113(96.6%) returned a completed questionnaire. Their mean(SD) C-ECOHIS scores at baseline and follow-up were 7.4(6.6) and 7.8(6.4), respectively. The overall differences between pre- and post-treatment scores were not significant (p = 0.301). Concerning parent section, a negative impact was found (p = 0.014), whereas no significant impact was found in the child section (p = 0.831).
Conclusion: Based on the 6-month results, the SDF treatment conducted in a school setting did not affect the overall OHRQoL of preschool children and families.
Clinical significance: These results can provide important information to dental professionals regarding the use of SDF for caries control.
Keywords: Dental caries; Oral health; Preschool children; Quality of life; Silver diammine fluoride.
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