The dental caries experience of 5-year-old children in the United Kingdom. Surveys co-ordinated by the British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry in 1997/98.

This paper reports the results of standardised clinical caries examinations of 176,781 5-year-old children from across the United Kingdom. These 1997/98 co-ordinated surveys are the latest in a series which seek to monitor the dental health of children and to assess the delivery of dental services.
The criteria and conventions of the British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry were used. Representative samples were drawn from participating health authorities and boards and caries was diagnosed at the caries into dentine threshold using a visual method without radiography or fibre-optic transillumination.
The results again demonstrated a wide variation in prevalence across the UK, with mean values for d3mft for the current English regions (of the National Health Service) and the other UK 'territories' ranging from 1.02 in the West Midlands to 2.92 in Northern Ireland. Mean d3mft across the UK was 1.68 (d3t = 1.18, mt = 0.26, ft = 0.23). Overall, 43% of children had evidence of caries experience (d3mft > 0), although the means ranged between 33% (West Midlands) and 63% (Northern Ireland). The distribution of caries was highly skewed. Thus the UK mean caries experience for those with disease was 3.94, as opposed to the overall mean of 1.68. Trends over time demonstrate a modest improvement of 8.7% in overall d3mft for Great Britain since 1995/96, compared to the small improvement seen two years ago and the deterioration seen four years previously. Both dt and mt have fallen while ft remained unchanged. The care index has increased in all but one region/territory (14% in 1997/8, compared to 12% in 1995/6). Regional/country means for 1997/8 ranged from 9-23%. This indicator has not, however, regained the levels seen in the past.
There has been some improvement in the dental health of 5-year-old children. Overall, the provision of operative care for those with dentinal decay has also improved; however, significant groups remain within the population of 5-year-old children who have dental disease and who are in need of dental care.
AuthorsN B Pitts, D J Evans, Z J Nugent
JournalCommunity dental health (Community Dent Health) Vol. 16 Issue 1 Pg. 50-6 (Mar 1999) ISSN: 0265-539X [Print] ENGLAND
PMID10697356 (Publication Type: Comparative Study, Journal Article)
  • Child, Preschool
  • Community Dentistry
  • DMF Index
  • Dental Caries (epidemiology)
  • Great Britain (epidemiology)
  • Humans
  • Morbidity (trends)
  • Prevalence
  • Societies, Dental
  • State Dentistry
  • State Medicine

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