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Prevalence of dental caries among primary schoolchildren in Chennai - A cross-sectional study

K. B. Naziya , R. Pradeep Kumar , I. Meignana Arumughamm , D. Srisakthi


Dental caries and periodontal disease are the most common oral diseases, one is a disease of tooth structure and other is a disease of the structures supporting the teeth. Dental caries afflict humans of all ages with the highest priority risk group being schoolchildren. Periodontal problems are generally considered to affect mainly the adult and elderly sections of the population. On the other hand, gingivitis, which is a part of the population develops into irreversible loss of tooth attachment, usually starts in the mixed dentition. To assess the prevalence of dental caries among primary schoolchildren of Chennai using dft/ decayed missing filled (DMFT) index. The present study was conducted as a part of the screening, initiative of the Department of Public Health Dentistry, Saveetha University, to assess the prevalence and dental caries experience among primary school going children of Chennai using dft/DMFT index. Examiners were calibrated through a series of clinical training before the study. Demographic information such as name, age, gender, and class was collected followed by clinical examination for dental caries was recorded on a pro forma. Dental examination was done with the child seated in an ordinary chair. A disposable mouth mirror and explorer were used for the examination. The explorer was used very cautiously to prevent damage to the sound intact enamel surface, and the explorer was used specifically to confirm the caries diagnosis. Based on the findings of the present study, it can be concluded that dental caries among 6–12 years are higher than 3–5 years. Dental caries were found both in primary dentition and permanent dentition. The study reveals that dental caries still remains as a major oral health problem among school children.

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