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RGO - Revista Gaúcha de Odontologia

Print version ISSN 0103-6971On-line version ISSN 1981-8637


BASTIANINI, Mariana Esperendi et al. Dental caries among preschool children: effects of social inequality and the impact of a university extension project. RGO, Rev. Gaúch. Odontol. [online]. 2019, vol.67, e20190037.  Epub Sep 12, 2019. ISSN 1981-8637.


The aims of this study were to assess the prevalence of dental caries among preschoolers at public and private schools and to evaluate the associations among the prevalence of the disease, socioeconomic factors, and the impact of a university extension project.


Five-year-old preschool children were examined and were divided into three groups: children from private schools who were not receiving regular preventive care (group 1), children from public schools who were not receiving regular preventive care (group 2), children from public schools who were receiving preventive care through a university extension project (group 3). The children were examined for decay-missing-filled index, and their caregivers were interviewed to collect data on socioeconomic factors. Fisher’s and Chi-squared tests were used to analyze the data.


Group 1 showed better socioeconomic and oral conditions compared with groups 2 and 3. Parents’/guardians’ level of education was associated with the presence of disease in their children; however, income showed no association.


Dental caries were more prevalent in the group with worse socioeconomic indicators, and although the university extension project had been implemented in one of the groups, it was not able to overcome health inequalities.

Keywords : Dental caries; Preschool; Social inequity; Socioeconomic factors.

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