Parents Views on dental care in Sweden

Children with Down Syndrome (DS) often have an increased risk of impaired oral health. Safe and regular visits to dental care are important factors for children with DS who have a more comprehensive need than children without DS. Being a parent of a child with DS can affect life and family situation. Few studies have investigated parents' views on the child's dental care, but the findings of the known studies report that parents of children with DS prioritize the child's medical problems before dental care. The study is part of an international collaboration where a questionnaire was developed to answer parents in Europe's view on dental care. The intention is that the survey should be conducted in European countries and the results will be compared between countries. The results from the Swedish study showed that most parents rated their child's general and oral health as good or very good. Children who were reported to have poorer oral health also had difficulty to be involved in dental care. Parents wanted dental care to provide tailored service to meet the child's individual needs and also the dental staff have the required knowledge. Moreover, they wanted an interprofessional collaboration. The free text answers from the survey study are further processed into another study that is planned to be completed in 2021.

A new project is planned to start in 2022. This project aims to investigate whether young people with DS receive the dental care which they are entitled to, with a special focus on orthodontics as well as what structural and individual factors could affect it.

Project leader: Malin Stensson