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Paivi Rajavaara, Marja-Liisa Laitala, Hannu Vahanikkila, Vuokko Anttonen
Background: Background: The aim of this survey was to investigate family-related factors among healthy children treated under dental general anesthesia (DGA) compared to those treated in a normal dental setting. Methods: The survey comprised 87 children whose dental treatment was performed under DGA and 103 age-matched children who were treated in a normal setting. The children were healthy 3 to 11-year-olds, and their parents filled out the questionnaire on parental dental fear, DGA experiences in the family, and oral health behaviors. The data were collected in primary health care in the city of Oulu, Finland, during 2014– 2016. Results: In the DGA group, the proportion of fearful parents was three-fold higher and the proportion of siblings with DGA experience four-fold higher than in the comparison group; the differences between the groups were statistically significant. The dietary habits were statistically significantly poorer in the DGA group than among the comparison group when several indicators were considered. Linear regression analysis showed that treating a child in DGA was associated with harmful oral health behaviors like eating candy, drinking juice, and poor tooth brushing habits. Conclusions: Parental dental fear, DGA experiences of siblings, and harmful oral health behaviors were more common among children treated in a normal dental setting. Screening children and families for the risk indicators identified in this study may help prevent unnecessary DGAs among healthy control.