Second Online Dentistry Thesis Defence

This week saw a second group of dental students undertake their online thesis defence and the seventh group of Faculty of Dentistry students overall, to successfully pass. The defence was organized using the Google Meet platform and was chaired by our Director of Research, Dr Tineke Water. Other examiners were Dr Chher Tepirou (Chief Dental Officer at the Ministry of Health), Dr Tort Borany (Lecturer at UP) and Assistant Professor Soeun Sopharith (Deputy Dean of Dentistry). The candidates received a grade of “Pass With Credit” for their thesis completions.

Title Of The Thesis: Acceptability Of SDF By Children And Parents In Cambodia.
Students: KHY Daravuth, KONG BUNLY, CHEA Senghuy.
Supervised By: Dr TAK Ranuch and Adjunct Professor Callum DURWARD.
Thesis Examiners: Dr Tineke WATER (Chair), Assistant. Professor SOEUN Sopharith, Dr CHHER Tepirou, and Dr. TORT Borany.

Background: Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is becoming increasingly popular for arresting caries in primary teeth in Cambodia and around the world. However the dark discoloration of the treated carious lesions is a disadvantage that may affect the acceptability of the technique.

Aim of Study:
To explore the perceptions of Cambodian children and parents on the discoloration caused by SDF application on caries in primary teeth.

A cross-sectional study was conducted using a convenience sample of 150 children who had received SDF treatment (and their parents) from Hun Neang primary school in Phnom Penh. Following informed consent from their parents, children in grades 5 and 6 were recruited into the study. The children were asked about their understanding of SDF, their experiences during application, their perceptions of the dark staining, and whether they would be happy to have it applied again in the future. Their parents were then interviewed by telephone about their children’s dental health, their understanding of SDF, and their perceptions on the acceptability of SDF and its discoloration.

150 child-parent pairs consented to participate in the study. The mean age of the children was 12 years old. 80.7% of the children said they were happy to have their teeth painted with the SDF, while only 50.7% had noticed that after treatment their cavities became black. Only 32.0% expressed concern about the black color and only 18.7% said that someone had noticed or commented on the black color of their teeth. Among the parents, 90.0% were aware that SDF had been applied to their child’s teeth. However, only 38.7% understood the purpose of applying SDF clearly. 76.0% found the discoloration acceptable.

Most children and parents believed that SDF was a beneficial way of stopping dental caries’ progression, and few were concerned about the black discoloration.