Prevalence of dental caries in preschool children in Peñaflor, Santiago, Chile

  • Ismael Yévenes Universidad de Chile
  • Bianca Campos Bustos
  • Alfredo Apip Ramos
  • Ronald Moztfeld Espinoza
  • Miguel Neira Jara
  • Ljubica Petrasic Smith
Keywords: Dental caries, caries-free, dmft index, preschool children, deciduous teeth


Purpose: Despite the reduction in the prevalence of dental caries in Chile, very little is known about the prevalence of this disease in deciduous teeth. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence of dental caries in children aged 3 to 5 year-old of Peñaflor, a semirural commune in Santiago, Chile. Methods: A total of 94 children from families of low socioeconomic status were examined. One trained and calibrated dentist (kappa 0.87) performed the clinical examinations and recorded data on caries free children, caries severity, and dmft index, using the WHO protocols. Results: The results showed that 50% of the 3 year-old children were caries-free compared to 42.2% at the age of 5 year-old. There was no statistically significant gender difference in the prevalence of the disease. For the total sample, the percentage of caries-free children was 43.2%. The dmft index in the study population at 3, 4, and 5 year-old was 1.30, 2.51, and 2.52, respectively. Conclusion: This study showed that children in Peñaflor commune have not reached the WHO goals proposed for the year 2000, which indicates that this population requires the adoption of additional preventive and restorative strategies to improve oral health.

Author Biography

Ismael Yévenes, Universidad de Chile
Químico-Farmacéutico, Profesor Responsable de los cursos de Química Básica y Química Oral de la Facultad de Odontología de la Universidad de Chile. Investigador en las áreas de caries, fluoruro y colutorios antiplaca. Investigador Responsable para proyectos del Ministerio de Salud de Chile en Caries y Fluorosis y Excreción Urinaria de Fluoruros.
Original Article