Knowledge on the first permanent molar - audit on 215 Romanian mothers
Many epidemiological studies prove the high vulnerability to caries of the first permanent molar,
even shortly after its emergence. Aim: to assess the knowledge of preschool children’s parents on the
matter of the first permanent molar. Material and method: the mothers of 215 children aged 1 to 7
years old were asked to fill in a questionnaire containing closed questions about the moment of the
eruption of the first permanent molar and its position in the arch relative to the decidual molars,
about caries prevention means for this tooth, as well as about the source of information on this subject.
The mothers were aged 20 to 48 years (mean age = 31.16±0.29 years). 26.51% of them had a university
degree, 55.81% were high school graduates and 16.28% had 10 classes or less. 22.79% were
unemployed and 75.81% were employed. Results: Concerning the moment of the first permanent
molar’s emergence, 20.93% of the answers were correct, while the question on the place of this tooth
in the arch was correctly answered by 21.39%. The mother’s level of education significantly influences
the answers on the moment of the emergence of the first permanent molar and does not influence
the accuracy of the answers on the position of this tooth. Mother’s occupation does not influence
the level of knowledge (p=0.05). Regarding the preventive means applicable for the first permanent
molar, tooth brushing was most commonly mentioned (79.53%), while sealing was familiar to only
7.91% of the mothers. Half of the questioned women admitted not to have got any information on this
tooth, while 17.67% stated that they got information from the dentist. Conclusions: 1. Parents have
little knowledge on the moment of eruption and position in the arch of the first permanent molar. 2.
There is a certain discrepancy between theoretic knowledge on oral health and actual oral habits. 3.
Further caries prevention programs need to target the first permanent molar. For an increased efficiency,
such programs should involve dentists, parents and teachers at the same time.