June 2006

Volume 23, Issue 2

Dental caries experience in preschool children in Veneto region (Italy)

Authors: B. Meneghetti A. Besostri R. Ferro
doi:

Abstract

Objectives : The aim of this study was to assess the dental caries experience in deciduous dentition among preschool children attending nursery-schools in the area of Ulss n.15 of Veneto Region (Italy). Basic research design and participants: A cross sectional survey in maternal schools in an area of North-East of Italy was carried out between October 2002 to May 2003 enrolling 1,006 2-6 year-old children randomly selected. WHO diagnostic criteria for dental caries were adopted; dmft and SiC indices were used to measure the severity of the disease. In this paper the “umbrella” term ECC to define caries in primary dentition prior to eruption of permanent teeth (Horowitz, 1998) was used as well. Results : ECC prevalence and mean dmft by age were: 3 years: 13.28% and 0.53 (SD ±1.83); 4 years: 18.95 % and 0.83 (SD± 2.24) ; 5 years: 26.9% and 1.34 ( SD± 2.8). SIC index values were 1.6 at 3 years, 2.4 at 4 years and 4 at 5 years. Conclusions The prevalence of dental caries increased with age: the mean dmft increased 2 ½ times (0.53 to 1.34) and the percentage of children affected by caries doubled (13.28% to 26.9%) between ages 3 and 5 years. Comparing the data for 4 year-old children with those of two surveys carried out in the same area in the last two decades, it is concluded that as in the other industrialised countries, dental caries in preschool children of this area of North-East of Italy has declined. Key words: Dental caries, dental epidemiology, Italy, preschool children, prevalence

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