Prevalence of dental caries and treatment needs in 6 to 12 year-old schoolchildren at public schools

OBJECTIVE: To assess dental caries prevalence and treatment needs of schoolchildren in the State of Goiás, Brazil. METHODS: The study population consisted of 6-12-yr-old schoolchildren (n=1,419), male and female, attending 25 public schools located in the urban area of 9 provincial cities in the State of Goiás. RESULTS: Percentage of caries-free schoolchildren was very low at all ages (4.4% at age 12). Mean DMF-T ranged from 0.41 at age 6 to 5.19 at age 12. Mean dmf-t in this age group ranged from 4.93 to 0.29. Treatment needs were higher than the proportion of treated teeth in both deciduous and permanent dentition. CONCLUSION: The high prevalence of dental caries found in schoolchildren in the provincial cities of Goiás suggests the need for oral health education and preventive programs targeted at the underlying causes of the disease on a population level.

Dental caries; Oral health; School health

Faculdade de Saúde Pública da Universidade de São Paulo Avenida Dr. Arnaldo, 715, 01246-904 São Paulo SP Brazil, Tel./Fax: +55 11 3061-7985 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil