The Preferences of Dentists’ Attire among a Selected Population of Parents

Main Article Content

Joycelyn O. Eigbobo
Sylvia S. Etim


Aim: To evaluate the preferences of the dentists' attire among parents.

Study Design: Descriptive cross-sectional study.

Methodology: A questionnaire was used to obtain socio-demographic information and their preferences from Parents that accompanied their children to the Paediatric dental clinic. Information was also elicited from photographs showing male and female dentists’ with different attires and protective wears. The data was analyzed using SPSS version 22 and the level of significance was set at <0.05.

Results: One hundred and fifty parents, comprising of 105(70%) females and 45(30%) males were assessed. The 40-49 year age-group were the majority [73(48.7%)], the female dentist was the preferred gender and there were statistically significant differences between the male and female subjects (p=0.047).  One hundred and forty-six (97.3%) wanted the dentists to wear name tags mostly for ease of identification 103(68.8%) and communication 20(13.3%). All parents wanted the dentist to don protective coat and gloves, while 123(82%) and 80(53.3%) parents preferred dentists' wearing facemasks and protective glasses, respectively. One hundred and twenty-eight (85.3%) preferred the white coats because it depicts purity/cleanliness (51.4%) and professionalism (45.7%). Dentists attire was important to 82% and there were statistical significant differences (p=0.01) between those with previous dental exposure and first-timers. There were statistically significant differences (p=0.03) between procedures [orthodontics and other procedures] done in the present visit and their perception of dentist attire.

Conclusion: The preferences of the parents on protective wears, use of name tags and gender of the dentist show that identification, safety, empathy and rapport were desired from the dentist by the parents. Previous exposure of their children to the dental setting had an influence on the parents’ preferences.

Non-verbal communication, parents, dentist attire, name tags, protective wears

Article Details

How to Cite
Eigbobo, J. O., & Etim, S. S. (2019). The Preferences of Dentists’ Attire among a Selected Population of Parents. Journal of Advances in Medicine and Medical Research, 30(2), 1-10.
Original Research Article


National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; Board on Children, Youth, and Families; Committee on Supporting the Parents of Young Children; Breiner H, Ford M, Gadsden VL, editors. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2016.
(Accessed 4th June 2019)

Winter L, Morawska A, Sanders M. The knowledge of effective parenting scale (KEPS): A tool for public health approaches to universal parenting programs. The Journal of Primary Prevention. 2012;33(2-3):85–97.

Abushal M, Adenubi JO. Attitudes of Saudi parents toward separation from their children during dental treatment. Saudi Dent J. 2009;21:63–67.

Crowley E, Whelton H, O’Mullane D, Cronin M, Kelleher V, Flannery E. Parents’ preference as to whether they would like to accompany their child when receiving dental treatment – results from a national survey. J Ir Dent Assoc. 2005;51:23–24.

Muzondo BN, Muzondo IN, Mutandwa E. Determinants of parents’ choice of a paediatric dentist: An application of factor analysis. AfrJ Bus Manage 2007;1(6):154-165.

Ogordi PU, Azodo CC. Child dental patient accompanying person: A cross-sectional study. Saudi Journal for Health Sciences. 2016;5:72-75.

Bhandary S, Mei EA, Shetty UA. Assessment of perception and preferences of parent’s and children’s towards their dentist and dental treatment: a question-naire study.Int J Dent Health Sci. 2017;4: 1176-118.

Brosky ME, Keefer OA, Hodges JS, Pesun IJ, Cook G. Patient perceptions of professionalism in dentistry. J Dent Educ. 2003;67:909-915.

Strauss C. Is empathy gendered and, if so, why? An approach from feminist psychological anthropology. Journal of the society of Psychological Anthropology. 2004;32:432-457.

Ravikumar D, Gurunathan D, Karthikeyan S, Subbramanian EMG, Samuel VA. Age and environment determined children’s preference towards dentist attire - A cross - sectional study. J Clin Diagn Res. 2016;10: ZC16-ZC19.

Howick J, Steinkopf L, Ulyte A, Roberts N, Meissner K. How empathic is your healthcare practitioner? A systematic review and meta-analysis of patient surveys. BMC Medical Education BMC series – 2017;17:136.

Furnham A, Chan PS, Wilson E. What to wear? The influence of attire on the perceived professionalism of dentists and lawyers. J Appl Soc Psychol. 2013;43: 1838–1850.

Landry M, Dornelles AC, Hayek G, Deichmann RE. Patient preferences for doctor attire: The White Coat's Place in the Medical Profession. Ochsner J. 2013;13: 334–342.

Kelly GR, Shroff B, Best AM, Tufekci E, Lindauer SJ. Parent’s preferences regarding appearance and attire of orthodontists. Angle Orthod. 2014;84:404-409.

Bearman G, Bryant K, Leekha S, Mayer J, Munoz-Price SL, Murthy R, Palmore T, Rupp ME, White J. Healthcare personnel attire in non-operating-room settings. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemio-logy 2014;35:107-121.

Almutairi MA, Al-Essa NA. Children and parent’s preferences of dentists’ attire in pediatric dental practice. Pak Oral Dent J. 2016;36:417-420.

Treakle AM, Thom KA, Furuno JP, Strauss SM, Harris AD, Perencevich EN. Bacterial contamination of health care workers' white coats. AmJ Infect Control. 2009;37:101–105.

Zeren AE, Oktem ZB, Can I, Bezgin T, Ozalp N. What to wear when practicing on pediatric dental patients? J Pediatr Dent. 2016;4:37-41.

Asokan A, Kambalimath H, Patil R, Maran S, Bharath KP. A survey of the dentist attire and gender preferences in dentally anxious children. J Indian Soc PedodPrev Dent. 2016;34:30.
DOI: 10.4103/0970-4388.175507

McKenna G, Lillywhite GR, Maini N. Patient preferences for dental clinical attire: A cross-sectional survey in a dental hospital. Br Dent J. 2007;22(203):681-5.

Mistry D, Tahmassebi JT. Short communi-cation: Children’s and parent’s attitude towards dentists’ attire. Eur Arch Paediatr Dent. 2009;10:237-240.

Kuscu OO, Caglar E, Kayabasoglu N, Sandalli. Preferences of dentists’ attire in a group of Istanbul school children related to dental anxiety. Eur ArchsPaediatr Dent. 2009;10(1):38-41.

Ellore VPK, Mohammed M, Taranath M, Ramagoni NK, Kumar V, Gunjalli G. Children and parent’s attitude and preferences of dentist’s attire in pediatric dental practice. Int J Clin Pediatr Dent. 2015;8(2):102-107.

Gedam K, Katre A. Scenario-based assessment of children and parents preferences towards a paediatric dental setup – An observational study. IOSR Journal of Dental and Medical Sciences. 2018;17(2):32-42.

Deshmukh S, Sharma A, Soni V, Thombare P, Tiberewal H, DrIavankar A. Should dentist wear white coat or not? A cross-sectional study. IOSR-JDMS. 2013; 10:37-40.

Goyal E, Goyal E. Dress code for students in dental colleges. JAMMR. 2017;22:1-3.
[Article no.JAMMR.34771]

Huraib SB, Al Nahas N, Al-Babeesi HO, Abu-Aljadayi FM, Vellappally S, Sukumaran A. Patient preferences in selecting a dentist. Survey results from the urban population of Riyadh Saudi Arabia. J ContempPract Dent. 2015;16:201-204.

Tong HJ, Khong J, Ong C, Lin NA, Ng JJ, Hong CHL. Children’s and parents’ attitudes towards dentists’ appearance, child dental experience and their relation-ship with dental anxietyEur Arch Paediatr Dent; 2014.
DOI: 10.1007/s40368-014-0126-z

Lill MM, Wilkinson TJ. Judging a book by its cover: Descriptive survey of patients' preferences for doctors' appearance and mode of address. BMJ. 2005;331(7531): 1524-7.

Shulman ER, Brehm WT. Dental clinical attire and infection-control procedures. J Am Dent Assoc 2001;4:508-516.