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Original Research

Open Access

Are we adequately managing the oral health needs of children: a survey of the experience of general dentists and self-assessed confidence in pediatric dentistry

  • Thikrayat Bani-Hani1,*,
  • Rami Al-Fodeh2
  • Mawia Bataineh1
  • Abedelmalek Tabnjh3,4

1Division of Pediatric Dentistry, Department of Preventive Dentistry, Jordan University of Science and Technology, 22110 Irbid, Jordan

2Department of Prosthodontics, Jordan University of Science and Technology, 22110 Irbid, Jordan

3Dental Research Unit, Center for Global Health Research, Saveetha Medical College and Hospital, Saveetha Institute of Medical and Technical Sciences, 600077 Chennai, India

4Department of Applied Dental Sciences, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, Jordan University of Science and Technology, 22110 Irbid, Jordan

DOI: 10.22514/jocpd.2024.091 Vol.48,Issue 4,July 2024 pp.176-184

Submitted: 15 October 2023 Accepted: 17 November 2023

Published: 03 July 2024

*Corresponding Author(s): Thikrayat Bani-Hani E-mail:


Childhood caries is a public health problem with a significant burden on the community. The specialist dental workforce cannot adequately manage all treatment needs in children. Therefore, the general dental community remains critical in delivering care to children. The purpose of this study was to investigate the self-rated confidence of general practitioners in treating children. A cross-sectional survey was designed that involved general dentists in various primary care centers in Jordan. Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire about their experience and self-perceived level of confidence in performing various procedures in children using the Likert scale. Descriptive statistics, t-tests and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used for data analysis. A total of 150 general dentists completed the questionnaire. The overall confidence score was high (3/4). Most respondents (86.7%) reported high confidence in providing prophylaxis and preventive treatment. The lowest level of confidence was reported for dental trauma and interceptive orthodontics. No statistically significant gender disparity was found except for the management of dental trauma in which males were significantly more confident than females. Regarding years of experience, confidence levels in dental trauma management were significantly higher among dentists with 5–10 years of experience compared to the recently graduated and the longest qualified dentists (p = 0.008). Similarly, for interceptive orthodontics, participants with 5–10 years of practice were significantly more confident compared to dentists in the other groups (p = 0.021). One-third of participants (30.1%) were not willing to treat children and considered them disruptive to their practice. Overall, This study revealed low levels of confidence in dental trauma management and interceptive orthodontics in children. Modification of dental curricula to increase clinical exposure should positively reflect on future levels of confidence. Strategies should be implemented to encourage general dentists to treat children to ensure equitable access for all.


Children; General dentists; Pediatric dentistry; Self-assessed confidence

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Thikrayat Bani-Hani,Rami Al-Fodeh,Mawia Bataineh,Abedelmalek Tabnjh. Are we adequately managing the oral health needs of children: a survey of the experience of general dentists and self-assessed confidence in pediatric dentistry. Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry. 2024. 48(4);176-184.


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