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Caries experience in the primary dentition of nursery school children in ile-ife, Nigeria.

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Abstract:

Objective: To measure the prevalence and pattern of distribution of dental caries in suburban Nigerian children attending nursery school in Ile – Ife, Nigeria. Methods: A cross sectional survey of 423 children (225 boys, 198 girls) aged 3 – 6 years using dmft index. WHO recommendations for oral health survey were used for caries diagnosis (non cavitated lesions were excluded). All examinations were carried out by two calibrated examiners. Result: The prevalence of caries was 10.9% and a mean decayed, missing and filled teeth index (dmft) was 0.3 with the d - component comprising 92%.The mean dmft of children with high social status was higher than children with low social status. No statistically significant differences were found between boys and girls. The pattern of distribution revealed that out of 46 children diagnosed for caries 29 (63%) had caries confined to posterior teeth, 3 (6.5%) had caries only in anterior teeth and in 14(30.4%) both anterior and posterior teeth were affected. Caries free children accounted for 89.1% Discussion: The experience of caries in suburban Nigerian nursery school children found in this study was lower than that reported in most African countries and developed countries. Conclusion: Caries is not a widespread problem in some young suburban Nigerian nursery school children in the population examined. The importance of dental education and oral health programme both curative and preventive measures for this population are important to maintain the WHO / FDI millennium goal in Nigerian children population.

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