Damla Dogan, Çoruh T Dülgergil, Abidin T Mutluay, Isil Yildirim, Mehmet M Hamidi, Hakan Çolak
Department of Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Kirikkale University, Kirikkale, Turkey.
Objective: Early childhood caries (ECC) is a particularly destructive form of tooth decay that afflicts young children. The etiology and associated factors of ECC should be studied adequately to overcome this health hazard. The aim of this study was to determine caries prevalence and its consequences in toddlers in an Anatolian city, Kırıkkale. Materials and Methods: Examinations were performed in family medicine centers by three calibrated dentists during a period of 6 months. The status of dental caries was recorded according to the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. We recorded the clinical indexes of decayed, missed, and filled teeth (DMFT and dmft; upper-case letters refer to permanent and lower-case letters to primary teeth), and decayed, missed, and filled surfaces (DMFS). Results: Totally 3171 toddlers were included (52% males and 48% females). The mean age was 25.8 ± 10.1 months. The prevalence of ECC in preschool children was 17.3%, while the mean df(t) was 0.63 ± 1.79. ECC increased significantly with age. Dental caries were mostly observed in primary maxillary central teeth. Occlusal and buccal surfaces were the most affected sites. The difference in distribution of caries between maxilla and mandibula was found to be statistically significant ( P < 0.05). Conclusions: When compared to other data obtained from various epidemiologic studies, the toddlers living in Kırıkkale city center had a significant caries level. This observation had clearly suggested that early preventive measures should urgently be put into effect all over the city.
Keywords: Dental caries, df(t), early childhood caries, prevalence.