Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2018

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Dental Public Health

First Advisor

Warren, John J

First Committee Member

Dawson, Deborah Valulick

Second Committee Member

Owais, Arwa Issa

Third Committee Member

Wehby, George Labib

Fourth Committee Member

Kanellis, Michael J

Fifth Committee Member

Moss, David L


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to explore the level to which dental caries and socio-demographic factors impact the oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) in a sample of Amish children. Methods: This cross-sectional study was embedded within a pilot study of medical management of caries in the primary dentition using silver nitrate. Parents were asked to complete a baseline questionnaire which included questions regarding socio-demographics and an OHRQoL questionnaire- a 16-item Parent Perception Questionnaire (PPQ). Parents were also asked to make a global rating of their child’s oral health status and its impact on the child’s overall wellbeing. Oral examinations were completed by two previously trained and calibrated dentists for the assessment of dental caries experience. Descriptive and bivariate analyses were performed including the Spearman Correlation and Wilcoxon rank sum test. Multivariable linear modeling was used to model the covariate effects on OHRQoL.

Results: 77 children were analyzed. OHRQoL was negatively impacted by caries as per the Oral Domain of the PPQ (p < .02) and the global oral health status rating (p < 0.0001). There was no significant difference between males and females in the OHRQoL outcome measures (p > 0.05). The effect of income on OHRQoL was tenuous as the results were inconsistent. Conclusions: According to parents’ perceptions, a higher caries experience was associated with a poorer oral health status rating and had a negative impact on oral symptoms as they related to the OHRQoL of the children. Finally, there may be cultural differences regarding the value and/or expectations of oral health.


caries, children, oral health, quality of life


xii, 151 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 125-131).


Copyright © 2018 Christa Elizabeth Hirleman