Abstract in English:Abstract Dental caries remains highly prevalent in Latin American and Caribbean countries (LACC). However, this disease can be controlled through interventions that implement evidence-based strategies in an affordable manner and that target all population groups instead of the most affluent only. Therefore, the aim of this report was to summarize the main scientifically documented community interventions and strategies based on restriction of sugars consumption, use of fluoride, and the use of occlusal sealants for caries control in LACC. A critical literature review was carried out in a systematic manner that included defined search strategies, independent review of the identified publications, and compilation of results in this report. Three systematic searches were conducted using the PubMed, LILACS, and SciELO databases to identify studies related to community interventions and strategies for caries control in LACC. Of the 37 publications identified, twenty-six focused on fluoride use, eight on occlusal sealant use, and three on the restriction of sugar consumption. Documented community interventions for sugars restriction were scarce in the region and were based on food supplementation, sugar replacement, and education. Thus, local and/or national policies should prioritize investment in upstream, coherent, and integrated population-wide policies such as taxes on sugary drinks and stronger regulation of advertising and promotion of sugary foods and drinks mainly targeting children. The main fluoride-based strategies used drinking water, refined domestic salt, cow milk, toothpaste and, to a lesser extent, mouth-rinses, acidulated phosphate fluoride (APF) gels, and varnishes to deliver fluoride to the population. Evidence of fluoride use was seen in Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Studies reporting the use of occlusal sealants were mainly located in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Mexico, and Venezuela. Community interventions restricting sugar consumption should be implemented at the individual level and through public policies. The use of fluoride must be monitored at the local, regional, and national levels so as to achieve maximum anti-caries effect while also minimizing the risk of dental fluorosis. Moreover, fluoridated water and salt programs, used as a mutually exclusive community level strategy for caries control, should expand their benefits to reach non-covered areas of the LACC while also simultaneously providing adequate surveillance of the fluoride concentration delivered to the population. Regulating the concentration of soluble fluoride (for anti-caries effect) in dentifrice formulations is also necessary in order to provide the population with an effective strategy for disease control. Targeting culturally appropriate, economically sustainable caries control interventions to rural populations and native ethnic groups such as indigenous people, quilombolas (African-origin), and riverside Amazonian people remains a crucial challenge.
Abstract in English:Abstract Dental caries can be effectively managed and prevented from developing into cavitated lesions while preserving tooth structure at all levels. However, the strong correlation between caries and socioeconomic factors may compromise the efficacy of preventive strategies. The high prevalence of persistent inequalities in dental caries in Latin American and Caribbean countries (LACC) is a matter of concern. The estimates of the burden of disease in some countries in this region are outdated or absent. This paper aims to summarize and present the final recommendations of a regional Consensus for Dental Caries Prevalence, Prospects, and Challenges for LACC. This consensus is based on four articles that were written by a team of Latin American experts, reviewed by dental associations, and presented and discussed in two consensus events. The following domains were explored: epidemiology, risk factors, prevention strategies, and management of dental caries with a focus on restorative procedures. Dental caries can manifest throughout the lifespan of an individual, making it a matter of concern for infants, children, adults, and older people alike. The prevalence rates of untreated caries in deciduous and permanent teeth are high in many parts of the world, including LACCs. Previous evidence suggests that the prevalence of dental caries in 12-year-olds is moderate to high in most Latin American countries. Moreover, the prevalence of treatment needs and dental caries in the adult and elderly population can also be regarded as high in this region. The risk/protective factors (e.g., sugar consumption, exposure to fluoride, and oral hygiene) probably operate similarly in all LACCs, although variations in the interplay of these factors in some countries and within the same country cannot be ruled out. Although salt and water fluoridation programs are implemented in many countries, there is a need for implementation of a surveillance policy. There is also room for improvement with regard to the introduction of minimal intervention techniques in practice and public health programs. Dental caries is a marker of social disadvantage, and oral health promotion programs and interventions aimed at reducing the burden of dental caries in LACCs must consider the complexity of the socioeconomic dynamics in this region. There is an urgent need to promote engagement of stakeholders, policymakers, medical personnel, universities, dental associations, community members, and industries to develop regional plans that enhance the oral health agenda for LACCs. A list of recommendations has been presented to underpin strategies aimed at reducing the prevalence and severity of dental caries and improving the quality of life of the impacted LACC population in the near future.
Abstract in English:Abstract Robust epidemiological data allow for logical interventions taken in the interest of public health. Dental caries is a major public health problem driven by increased sugar consumption and various biological, behavioral, and psychosocial factors, and is known to strongly affect an individual’s quality of life. This study aims to critically review epidemiological data on the prevalence of dental caries in Latin American and Caribbean countries (LACC) and its impact on the oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) of the population. Although the majority of national surveys did not include all age groups and several countries reported a reduction in the prevalence of cavitated carious lesions, most nations still exhibited a high burden of decayed teeth. OHRQoL evaluation was limited to children and older adults only, and was not included in any national survey. Study heterogeneity and methodological issues hindered comparison of evidence between studies and over time, and updating national level data on caries prevalence and its impact on OHRQoL should be prioritized in LACCs.
Abstract in English:Abstract Identifying the risk factors for dental caries is vital in epidemiology and clinical practices for developing effective preventive strategies, both, at the individual and collective levels. Different causality/determination models have been proposed to understand the development process of dental caries. In the present review, we designed a model inspired by the world-known social determinants models proposed in the 90s and more recently in the 10s, wherein the contextual factors are placed more externally and encompass the individual factors. The contextual factors included those related to the cultural and societal values, as well as the social and health government policies. The individual factors were classified into the following categories: socioeconomic (social class, occupation, income, and education level), demographic characteristics (age, sex, and ethnicity), behavioral factors (non-use of fluoride dentifrice, sugar consumption, poor oral hygiene, and lack of preventive dental care), and biological factors (recent caries experience/active caries lesions, biofilm retentive factors, developmental defects of the enamel, disabilities, saliva amount and quality, cariogenic biofilm). Each of these variables was addressed, while focusing on the current evidence from studies conducted in Latin American and Caribbean countries (LACC). Based on the proposed model, educational aspects were addressed, and individual caries risk assessment and management decisions were proposed; further, implications for public health policies and clinical practice were described. The identification of modifiable risk factors for dental caries should be the basis for multi-strategy actions that consider the diversity of Latin American communities.
Abstract in English:Abstract Caries management at the lesion level is dependent on the lesion activity, the presence of a cavitation (either cleanable or non-cleanable), and lesion depth as evaluated via radiographic examination. A variety of non-invasive, micro-invasive, and minimally invasive treatment (with or without restoration) options are available for primary and permanent teeth. Non-invasive strategies include oral hygiene instructions, dietary counseling, and personal as well as professional use of fluoridated products that reduce demineralization and increase re-mineralization. Micro-invasive procedures include the use of occlusal resin sealants and resin infiltrants, while minimally invasive strategies comprise those related to selective removal of caries tissues and placement of restorations. Deep caries management includes indirect pulp capping, while exposed pulp may be treated using direct pulp capping and partial or complete pulpotomy. The aim of the present study was to review available evidence on recommended preventive and restorative strategies for caries lesions in Latin American/Caribbean countries, and subsequently develop evidence-based recommendations for treatment options that take into consideration material availability, emphasize ways to adapt available treatments to the local context, and suggest ways in which dentists and health systems can adopt these treatments.