To Extract or to Restore the Tooth? Color/Race and Clinical Decision Making among Undergraduate Dental Students from Southern Brazil

João Luiz Bastos, Fernanda Carrera Schroeder, Helena Mendes Constante, Douglas Francisco Kovaleski, Antonio Fernando Boing, Sérgio Fernando Torres de Freitas

Abstract


Objective: To evaluate whether the color/race of a hypothetical patient is associated with the clinical decision to extract or restore a specific tooth, as well as with the recommendation for additional procedures for its adequate treatment. Material and Methods: Respondents assessed an anterior tooth with an extensive carious lesion and were asked: whether it should be extracted or restored; how much time should be spent in the first consultation; whether or not root canal retreatment was necessary; and whether complementary exams should be requested. While a Black hypothetical patient was assessed in the first stage of data collection, a White individual was subsequently shown to the study respondents. Results: The clinical decision on whether to extract or restore the decayed tooth was not associated with the patient’s color/race (p=0.64). The mean time estimated for the first clinical consultation (p=0.28), the need for root canal retreatment (p=0.56), as well as the request for complementary exams were not associated with the patient’s color/race (p=0.82). Analyses stratified by the participants’ characteristics confirmed the lack of such an association. Conclusion: As opposed to previously published findings in Brazil, the patient’s color/race was not associated with clinical decision making among undergraduate dental students.


Keywords


Social Discrimination; Health Services; Education, Professional; Oral Health.

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4034/PBOCI.2017.171.44

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