Bárbara Hope López; Carlos Zaror Sánchez; Carolina Vergara González; Jaime Díaz Melendez & Luis Bustos Medina


The pediatrician holds a close relationship with children and their parents during the first years of life. As such, this professional has regular opportunities to perform screening dental examination in young children and to educate families on preventive oral health. The aim of this study was to assess Chilean pediatricians’ knowledge, attitudes and professional experience regarding children’s oral health. A survey was responded by 164 pediatricians attending the 50th Chilean Pediatrics Convention. The survey questionnaire was translated and adapted from a national survey for pediatricians designed by the Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington. The face and content validity of the instrument was evaluated through a focus group with Chilean pediatricians. The survey included demographic data, elements related to knowledge about oral preventive therapies, their own role in oral health promotion, their experience to screen oral problems and the barriers to refer patients to the dentist. The results showed that 64% of the respondent pediatricians reported to diagnose dental cavities in preschool children at least once a month. 51.53% agreed with referring children to the dentist from the age of 1, however 55.82% found difficulties to successfully refer children under 2 years old. Only 3% of the respondents answered all knowledge questions correctly. 66.87% never received training in oral health during their pediatrics specialization studies. In spite of the general consensus about the relevance of oral health and the frequent encounter with oral pathologies, pediatricians acknowledge that they do not possess enough knowledge nor referral strategies to participate in their prevention.

KEY WORDS: education, oral health, pediatrician.

How to cite this article

HOPE, L. B.; ZAROR, S. C.; VERGARA, G. C.; DÍAZ, M. J. & BUSTOS, M. L. Knowledge and attitudes of chilean pediatricians regarding oral health. Int. J. Odontostomat., 7(2):245-251, 2013.