Caries experience in adolescents from a metropolitan region of the Brazilian Amazon
AbstractPurpose: To estimate the prevalence of dental caries among adolescents from a poor metropolitan region of the Brazilian Amazon, and to identify the independent socioeconomic variables of access to dental services, oral hygiene habits, and self-perception of oral health. Method: The sample comprised 178 adolescents aged from 15 to 19 year-old, enrolled in schools in the Eastern zone of the city of Manaus, AM, Brazil. Primary data were collected using a standardized questionnaire and clinical examination. Result: The prevalence of dental caries was 92.7%, and the mean DMF-T index was 5.16 (SD: 0.28). The average number of decayed, missing, and filled teeth was 4.4, 0.87, and 0.75, respectively. No statistically significant differences were found between DMF-T index and per capita household income. Most adolescents declared that they had had an appointment with a dentist at least once in their lifetime, had sought the public service, and that pain was the predominant reason for consultation. The perception of oral health of the majority was good/excellent. Conclusion: The data suggest lack of restorative dental treatment and high prevalence of dental caries in this socially disadvantaged sample, which evidences the need to implement strategies to improve delivery of oral health care. Key words: Oral health; epidemiology; dental caries
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