Document Type: Original Article
Associate Professor, Ophthalmic Epidemiology Research Center, Shahroud University of Medical Sciences, Shahroud, Iran
Researcher, Student Research Committee, School of Medicine, Shahroud University of Medical Sciences, Shahroud, Iran
Researcher, Vice-chancellery of Health, Shahroud University of Medical Sciences, Shahroud, Iran
Professor, Noor Research Center for Ophthalmic Epidemiology, Noor Eye Hospital, Tehran, Iran
Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
BACKGROUND AND AIM: This study aims to determine dental health indices and their associated factors in 6-12-year-old Iranian school children.
METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, a total of 5620 students, living in Shahroud, northeast of Iran, participated as the participants of Shahroud School Children Eye Cohort Study (SSCECS). Children were selected through cluster sampling in urban areas and by census in rural areas. The children were examined by two trained dentists, using disposable dental mirrors and dental explorers on a dental unit. The indices of decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT), decayed filled teeth (dft), and Significant Caries Index (SiC Index) as well as decay percentage were estimated by age, gender, and place of residence, with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). The differences in mean value were investigated by independent t-test or analysis of variance (ANOVA).
RESULTS: Dental examinations were performed for 5577 students, 3005 (53.9%) of whom were boys and 4434 (79.5%) were urban residents. The mean age of the participants was 9.7 ± 1.7 years. The overall DMFT, dft, and SiC indices were 0.97, 2.84, and 2.48, respectively. At the age of 12, DMFT and SiC indices were 1.80 and 4.07, respectively. Moreover, the mean DMFT was higher in girls and in rural areas, increasing with age. Overall, 36.2% and 38.9% of the male and female students had at least one decayed permanent tooth, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Dental health status in 6-12-year-old Iranian children was not favorable in Shahroud, especially in girls and in rural areas. Therefore, preventive and therapeutic programs and access to health care services need to be expanded.