Caries Trends in the Primary Dentition of 6- to 7-Year-old Schoolchildren in Germany from 1994 to 2016: Results from the German National Oral Health Surveys in Children.

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Summary of "Caries Trends in the Primary Dentition of 6- to 7-Year-old Schoolchildren in Germany from 1994 to 2016: Results from the German National Oral Health Surveys in Children."

Long-term nationally representative caries data in the primary dentition are rare, but nonetheless central to assess needs in caries prevention and treatment. This study evaluated the prevalence and trends of caries levels in the primary dentition of 6- to 7-year-olds in Germany as a whole and its federal states individually. In 2016, employing a randomized cluster selection, 6- to 7-year-old first graders were included in the National German Oral Health Survey performed regularly since 1994/95. Children were examined by 482 calibrated dentists in all 17 German regions using the WHO criteria for the decayed, missing, and filled teeth (dmft) including the assessment of initial carious lesions (it). In total, 151,555 6- to 7-year-olds were examined. Caries prevalence in the primary dentition dropped from 65% in 1994 to 44% in 2016, while the mean caries experience dropped from 2.89 to 1.73 dmft (dt = 0.74, mt = 0.19, ft = 0.80). When initial lesions were included, the mean caries experience increased to idmft = 2.12 (it = 0.38). In 2016, 49.7% of the examined 6- to 7-year-olds were caries-free including initial lesions. The Care Index at the tooth level was 57.5%, and the Significant Caries Index was 4.84 dmft. Depending on the German region, the mean dmft varied considerably, ranging from 1.37 to 2.31. In conclusion, despite the overall caries decline in 6- to 7-year-olds in Germany, only minor caries reductions were observed over the last decade, with a still existing high proportion of untreated dental decay. This calls for more effective preventive and restorative efforts with focus on the primary dentition in Germany.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Caries research
ISSN: 1421-976X
Pages: 1-8


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The teeth collectively in the dental arch. Dentition ordinarily refers to the natural teeth in position in their alveoli. Dentition referring to the deciduous teeth is DENTITION, PRIMARY; to the permanent teeth, DENTITION, PERMANENT. (From Jablonski, Dictionary of Dentistry, 1992)

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The former Federal Republic of Germany which was reunified with the former German Democratic Republic in 1990.

The former German Democratic Republic which was reunified with the former Federal Republic of Germany in 1990.

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