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More than Just Pulling Teeth: The Impact of Dental Care on Patients' Lived Experiences.

Authors
  • Kerr, Loretta
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal (Canadian Dental Association)
Publication Date
May 01, 2018
Volume
84
Identifiers
PMID: 31199720
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

To explore the psychosocial impacts of dentistry as described by patients. I conducted 6 qualitative interviews with people whose access to dental care had been limited because of financial barriers, but who had recently undergone significant treatment through a dental outreach program. In addition to physical benefits (including improved sleep and diet), participants discussed how dental treatment led to a greater level of confidence and an improved self-concept. They provided powerful examples of how this confidence boost improved their social interactions and relationships. They also felt more confident about their employability. The benefits of adequate dental care extend well beyond its physical and medical aspects. Dental health is connected inextricably with people's sense of self and social functioning. The far-reaching consequences of dentistry explored in this research raise questions about the inequalities in Canada's current system and the need to address them.

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