Social representation of Dentistry: a qualitative study with dental students of Unimontes

Simone Melo Costa, Paulo Rogério Ferreti Bonan, Mauro Henrique Nogueira Guimarães de Abreu, Sarah Jane Alves Durães


Purpose: This work aimed to identify and analyze the social representation of Dentistry by dental students of the State University of Montes Claros, Unimontes.
Methods: Qualitative study design. A probabilistic, randomized, and stratified sample included 20 students: 10 female and 10 male students (two per school year). Data were collected using a semi-structured interview from March to July 2006. The key questions were: “What is the society view of Dentistry? What is your opinion on Dentistry?” Narrative data were transcribed and analyzed by content analysis.
Results: Thee categories were identified: Dentistry – high value, Dentistry – low value, and Dentistry - problems. In this sample, 55% students raised problems in Dentistry: devaluation of the dental profession, reductionist view to teeth, trivialized profession and high costs, ethical problems such as disloyal competition.
Conclusions: The relationship between Dentistry and the present society requires understanding of the social and health care structure and the dental professional role in this context. In education, the university should discuss the social commitment of Dentistry and educate health professionals to meet the real population needs and increase the dental profession impact.
Key words: Students; Dentistry; qualitative research


Students; Dentistry; qualitative research

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e-ISSN: 1980-6523

ISSN-L: 0102-9460


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