Dental caries is the most frequent chronic disease in children, with a number of predisposing factors that should be evaluated on an individual basis. We aimed to retrospectively determine the severity and pattern of dental caries of the first permanent molars (FPMs), in addition to the total decayed, missing, filled surfaces (DMFS) of the FPM, the relationship of children's demographics, medical health status with the pattern and severity of FPM and to identify the most susceptible FPM tooth surface(s) for dental caries in the study group.
Materials and Methods:
Patients’ electronic clinical notes and radiographic images (N=1366) at Dubai Dental Hospital were investigated by accessing the digital clinical notes in Dental4WindowsTM (D4W), over a four-year period between June 1st, 2016- February 29th, 2020. A total of 774 children, aged 5-12 years, were included (healthy, special needs and/or medically compromised). The recorded data were demographic variables and carious status of each FPM. All data analyses were performed using IBM-SPSS for Windows version 28.0. The Chi-squared test or Fisher’s exact test was used to investigate the association of categorical data. In addition, Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was used to test the normality of continuous variables (age, DMFS scores) and Mann Whitney test to compare the means between the two ii groups. Quantitative data were analysed and expressed in mean ± SD, and significance level was set at (P-value < 0.05 level).
In the study sample, the prevalence of dental caries and mean DMFS of FPMs were 42% and 0.3075 (±0.04), respectively. The most prevalent decayed surface was the occlusal (29.2%), with no statistically significant difference between gender and nationality. Children with medical health problems and/or special needs had significantly higher caries in the buccal surfaces (12.3%) (P=0.042) compared to healthy children. The majority of proximal caries (mesial, distal) in our study were incipient and spread through the outer third of the enamel (4.9%).
In 5 to 12-year-old children attending Dubai Dental Hospital in Dubai, UAE, the prevalence of dental caries in the first permanent molars was high with the occlusal being the most affected surface. In addition, children with medical health problems and/or special needs have a higher tendency to develop dental caries. Therefore, an individually tailored preventive measures based on risk assessment are required to prevent and minimize the dental caries risk||en_US