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The dental caries experience of 5-, 12- and 14-year-old children in Great Britain. Surveys coordinated by the British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry in 1991/92, 1992/3 and 1990-91

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

N B Pitts, J D Palmer

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-52
Number of pages11
JournalCommunity Dental Health
Volume11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1994

King's Authors

Abstract

A series of caries prevalence surveys across Great Britain has been coordinated by the British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry (BASCD) since 1985/86 with the aim of monitoring caries experience in representative samples of school children aged 5, 12 and 14 years of age. The purpose of this report is to present the findings of the surveys of 14-, 5- and 12-year-old children carried out in 1990/91, 1991/92 and 1992/3 respectively. These point prevalence surveys were conducted at the caries into dentine level of diagnosis using clinical examination only and a standardised, predominantly visual, diagnostic method employed by trained and calibrated teams of examiners from each country/region of Great Britain. For the 14-year-old age group, 114,126 children from 179 health authorities/boards were examined. The weighted mean DMFT for the participating countries and regions was 2.30 (range, 1.42-3.55). At age 5 years, 205,444 children from 184 health authorities/boards were examined. The weighted mean dmft for the participating countries and regions was 1.86 (range, 1.04-2.88). At age 12 years, 151,143 children from 186 health authorities/boards were examined. The weighted mean DMFT for the participating countries and regions was 1.27 (range, 0.84-2.08). A wide geographical variation in the results was evident for all three age groups, demonstrating a consistent north-south pattern, with higher levels towards the north of Britain. Trends in caries experience in permanent teeth indicate that the decline is now much slower for 12-year-old than for 14-year-old children and slower than the rate for 12-year-old children during the previous 4 year interval between examinations. For 5-year-old children, overall, the general decline in caries experience has ceased, while increases in dmft and in proportions with untreated dentinal decay are now seen in most parts of Great Britain. The pattern of restorative care provided has deteriorated with a fall in the care index for 5- and 12-year-old children, this finding may be related to changes in service provision within the UK.

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