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Oral health outcomes: the association of clinical and socio-dental indicators to evaluate dental caries in preschool children

Desfechos em saúde bucal: associação de indicadores clínicos e sociodentais para avaliar cárie dentária em pré-escolares


Dental caries is a public health problem that impacts oral health related to quality of life (OHRQoL). This study aimed to evaluate the outcome of dental caries in children by associating clinical and socio-dental indicators. A cross-sectional study was carried out with 2 to 6-year-old children who attended public day care centers in a city in the Southeast Region of Brazil. After sample calculation, 446 children were randomly selected by eligibility criteria. Two professionals evaluated dental caries using WHO (2013) criteria and classified subjects according to early childhood caries (ECC) severity. Parents/care- givers answered a characterization questionnaire and self-reported socio-dental indicator (B-ECO-HIS). The prevalence of dental caries was 33.7%. The children with high severity of ECC had 5 times higher chance of suffering an impact on OHRQoL. The one way ANOVA test showed that the impact on OHRQoL (ECOHIS scores) was associated with ECC. The outcome dental caries in oral health presented high prevalence as clinical indicator and high impact on OHRQoL as socio dental indicator. Clinical and socio-dental indicators should be evaluated together.

Key words
Children; Dental caries; Quality of life; Oral health

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