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Open Access

Angel or Devil? Dentists and Dental Students Conceptions of Pediatric Dental Patients through Metaphor Analysis

  • Buldur B1,*,

1Faculty of Dentistry, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Cumhuriyet University, Sivas, Turkey

DOI: 10.17796/1053-4628-42.2.7 Vol.42,Issue 2,March 2018 pp.119-124

Published: 01 March 2018

*Corresponding Author(s): Buldur B E-mail:


Purpose: The aim of this qualitative study was to identify the conceptions of dentists and dental students (DSs) about pediatric dental patients (PDPs) using metaphor analysis. Study Design: The study group (N = 259) consisted of dentists and DSs. Participants completed the sentence “A pediatric dental patient is like ... because …...” in order to reveal the metaphors they use about the concept of PDPs. The data were analyzed using the mixed-methods: qualitative (metaphor analysis) and quantitative (chi-square) data analysis techniques. Results: The dentists and DSs produced 259 metaphors. These metaphors were gathered under six different conceptual categories that define a PDP as unpredictable, dangerous, uncontrollable, requiring care and sensitivity, valuable, and orientable. The most important factors leading to these conceptions were the uncooperativeness of some PDPs and the effectiveness of behavior management. Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that there was no significant difference among DSs, general dentists and specialist dentists with respect to six conceptual categories that identify the conceptions about PDPs.


dental education, qualitative research, pediatric dentistry, pediatric patients

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Buldur B. Angel or Devil? Dentists and Dental Students Conceptions of Pediatric Dental Patients through Metaphor Analysis. Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry. 2018. 42(2);119-124.


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